To develop some of the models used for this study as well as to compare and quantify the results obtained from these models when simulated in full 3D anatomically accurate ventricular structures to experiments in similar conditions, we have performed microelectrode and optical mapping experiments in rabbit and porcine hearts.

All animal experiments were approved by the Animal Care Committee of Georgia Tech, Atlanta, and were carried out in accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, published by the U.S. Public Health Service. Methods for obtaining the preparations are as follows. After anesthesia with Fatal-Plus (pentobarbital sodium, 390 mg ml−1; Vortech Pharmaceuticals Ltd.; 86 mg kg−1, intravenously), hearts were excised rapidly via a left thoracotomy and placed in cold, aerated (95% O2–5% CO2) Tyrode solution containing 124 mM NaCl, 4.0 mM KCl, 24 mM NaHCO3, 0.9 mM NaH2PO4, 2.0 mM CaCl2, 0.7 mM MgCl2, and 5.5 mM glucose, adjusted to pH 7.4 with NaOH. For small hearts, the heart was cannulated from the aorta, and for larger hearts, the right and left coronary arteries were cannulated individually and the heart was perfused with Tyrode solution.

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