Biophysics Research Group

Department of Physics and Astronomy

The Biophysics Research Group at Ghent University, led by prof. Nele Vandersickel and supported by prof. Sasha Panfilov, aims at solving problems in the field of cardiac electrophysiology. Cardiac arrhythmia remains the number one cause of death in the world according to the World Health Organization and there is an urgent need for novel treatments.

Our vision is to integrate clinical and fundamental research on cardiac arrhythmia with electro-physiology. By connecting researchers with complementary expertise we create novel diagnostic tools based on fundamental knowledge, bridging the gap between basic and clinical research.

To accomplish this goal, we perform computer simulations and analyze both clinical and experimental data. Combining these insights we aim to unravel the mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmia and propose new treatments.

Thesis subjects

You can find this years thesis subjects here: Thesis subjects 2021-22

If you are interested, please check out this video for more information: .mp4 | .ogg

DGM · Directed Graph Mapping

We have developed a novel diagnostic tool which can analyze any type of clinical, experimental or simulated dataset, called Directed Graph Mapping or DGM for short.

It can detect anatomical reentry (macro and localized), functional reentry (also called rotors) and focal activity. DGM creates a directed network of the cardiac excitation. By analyzing this directed network, DGM finds the location and type of the source of the arrhythmia. DGM has been extensively tested on clinical cases of Atrial Tachycardia, but we are also working on Ventricular tachycardia, Ventricular fibrillation, Torsade de Pointes and Atrial fibrillation.

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 900008), Brussels, Belgium

Specific research interests

Many of our research studies involve computer modeling in close collaboration with clinical and experimental groups. Recently, most of the members of our group switched to openCARP for simulations of cardiac arrhythmia. We are currently interested in the following topics:

- Fibrosis and how rotational activity interacts with fibrosis
- Atrial tachycardia and simulation of entrainment mapping
- Machine learning for the analysis of arrhythmia
- Mechanisms and modeling of Torsade de Pointes
- Phase mapping
- Mechanism of VF

Contact

Interested in collaborating with us? Do you have any questions on DGM?
Contact us

nele.vandersickel@ugent.be
Krijgslaan 281, S9
9000 Gent, Belgium