Cardiac electrophysiology

Signal processing


Hi there!

My name is Dr Dhani Dharmaprani, a biomedical engineer and postdoctoral researcher who (very literally) focuses on matters of the heart.

I currently work at the Cardiac Signals Analysis Laboratory, led by Prof. Anand Ganesan at Flinders University, where I have been since I completed my PhD in 2020.

My current research aims to unravel the mechanisms responsible for sustaining dangerous arrhythmias in the heart, specifically in relation the application of novel computational and mathematical approaches.

Current research

Renewal theory of cardiac fibrillation

Cardiac fibrillation is a condition characterised by irregular heart rhythm. It can exist in two forms: atrial fibrillation (AF) and ventricular fibrillation (VF), respectively the most common heart rhythm disorder and leading cause of sudden death in the world. These conditions arise due to the presence of spinning vortices of electricity in the heart, leading to spiral defect chaos. Renewal theory mathematically models the rate at which these spirals form and die, which captures the macroscale system properties and underlying physiology of the heart.

Read about some of this work:
1. Renewal theory as a quantitative framework
2. Using Renewal theory to develop governing equations in AF
3. Using Renewal theory to develop governing equations in VF

Understanding the spontaneous termination of cardiac fibrillation

An interesting feature of cardiac fibrillation is that it has the ability to self-terminate abruptly, without needing any intervention. This can happen even in episodes of cardiac fibrillation that have persisted for weeks or months! Understanding which episodes of fibrillation will sustain versus those that self-terminate is highly clinically useful, as this means we can differentiate patients who need treatment from those who will have fibrillation that will resolve on its own. This helps avoid unnecessary intervention and more effectively allocates medical resources. To study this, we are looking at various signal features and concepts from transient chaos to differentiate/predict these two scenarios.

Watch some short explainer vidoes about our work!

A broad overview of our research approach, and the application of chaos theory to cardiac fibrillation
What do grocery store queues and our hearts have in common? Turns out, a common set of equations explains both!

Prizes, honours and research funding

  1. Featured in News Corp’s ‘Top 25 Australian Female Scientists’, 2023
  2. Featured in The Advertiser’s ’23 Pioneering South Aussies to Watch in 2023′
  3. Science and Technology’s Superstars of STEM, 2023-2024
  4. Flinders University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Early Career Researchers, 2022
  5. Women In Innovation Winnovation Awards Finalist for categories of: i) Engineering, ii) Maths & Data, iii) Technology, and winner for Maths & Data, 2022
  6. CIA on Heart Health Innovation Grant from The Hospital Research Foundation, 2022
  7. CIB on MRFF Cardiovascular Health Mission Grant, 2021 (CIA A/Prof Anand Ganesan)
  8. CID on NHMRC Ideas Grant, 2021 (CIA A/Prof Anand Ganesan)
  9. Fresh Science’s South Australian Fresh Scientist, 2021
  10. Flinders University Dean (Education) Award for Excellence in Teaching Special Mention, 2021
  11. Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) Young Investigator Award Finalist, 2021
  12. Cardiac Electrophysiology Society (CEPS) Young Investigator Award Finalist, 2021
  13. CIA on Tom Simpson Trust Equipment Fund from The National Heart Foundation of Australia, 2020
  14. Flinders University College of Medicine and Public Health Publication Award, 2019
  15. Cardiac Electrophysiology Society (CEPS) Young Investigator Award Finalist, 2019
  16. Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS) Young Investigator of the Year Finalist, 2019
  17. Flinders University 3-Minute Thesis Competition Finalist, 2019
  18. Heart Rhythm Society Travel Grant, 2019
  19. Hospital Research Foundation International Conference Travel Grant, 2019
  20. Flinders University RHD Student International Conference Travel Grant, 2019
  21. Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) Heart Rhythm Prize winner, 2018
  22. Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS) Young Investigator of the Year, 2018
  23. Most Outstanding Biomedical Engineering Honours or Masters project, 2016
  24. College of Science and Engineering Summer Scholarship, 2016

Let’s connect!