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J Pharmacol Sci. 2008 Jun;107(2):107-17.

Computational models of the heart and their use in assessing the actions of drugs.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.


Models of cardiac cells are sufficiently well developed to answer questions concerning the actions of drugs on repolarization and the initiation of arrhythmias. These models can be used to characterize drug-receptor action profiles that would be expected to avoid arrhythmia and so help to identify drugs that may be safer. Several examples of such action profiles are presented here, including a recently-developed blocker of persistent sodium current, ranolazine. The models have also been incorporated into tissue and organ models that enable arrhythmia to be modelled also at these levels. Work at these levels can reproduce both re-entrant arrhythmia and fibrillation.

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