Diseased organs can be identified by examining the distinct wave patterns formed by the biochemical reactions occurring within them, according to a new study.
Texas A&M University researcher Zhengdong Cheng has developed a model that simulates how these wave patterns are generated by modeling cells in a biochemical environment.
Cheng's system uses two types of resin beads to represent cells: one type, "active" represent living cells and are loaded with a catalyst; the other, "inactive," represent diseased or dead cells and are without the catalyst.
Examining for the first time the effects of the inactive beads -- particularly the effects of significant increases in the inactive bead population within a system -- Cheng found that as the population of inactive beads increases, the resulting wave patterns transform from target-shaped to spiral-shaped.
As tissue of an organ becomes more diseased and greater numbers of cells die, Cheng infers that the biochemical reactions involving that organ will produce spiral wavelets instead of target wavelets.
That inference just so happens to correspond with electrocardiogram results, which change from pane-wave to spiral wavelets as normal sinus rhythm becomes ventricular fibrillation, a cause of cardiac arrest.
The importance of this is clear: by recognizing these wave patterns, scientists and doctors can more quickly and accurately diagnose if an organ is diseased and the extent of the damage.
His findings were published in the October issue of the journal Physical Review E.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com