My name is Dr Dhani Dharmaprani, a biomedical engineer and postdoctoral researcher who (very literally) focuses on matters of the heart.
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.
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!
Prizes, honours and research funding
- Flinders University Vice Chancellor’s Award for Early Career Researchers, 2022
- Women In Innovation Winnovation Awards Finalist for categories of: i) Engineering, ii) Maths & Data, iii) Technology, and winner for Maths & Data, 2022
- CIA on Heart Health Innovation Grant from The Hospital Research Foundation, 2022
- CIB on MRFF Cardiovascular Health Mission Grant, 2021 (CIA A/Prof Anand Ganesan)
- CID on NHMRC Ideas Grant, 2021 (CIA A/Prof Anand Ganesan)
- Fresh Science’s South Australian Fresh Scientist, 2021
- Flinders University Dean (Education) Award for Excellence in Teaching Special Mention, 2021
- Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) Young Investigator Award Finalist, 2021
- Cardiac Electrophysiology Society (CEPS) Young Investigator Award Finalist, 2021
- CIA on Tom Simpson Trust Equipment Fund from The National Heart Foundation of Australia, 2020
- Flinders University College of Medicine and Public Health Publication Award, 2019
- Cardiac Electrophysiology Society (CEPS) Young Investigator Award Finalist, 2019
- Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS) Young Investigator of the Year Finalist, 2019
- Flinders University 3-Minute Thesis Competition Finalist, 2019
- Heart Rhythm Society Travel Grant, 2019
- Hospital Research Foundation International Conference Travel Grant, 2019
- Flinders University RHD Student International Conference Travel Grant, 2019
- Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ) Heart Rhythm Prize winner, 2018
- Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS) Young Investigator of the Year, 2018
- Most Outstanding Biomedical Engineering Honours or Masters project, 2016
- College of Science and Engineering Summer Scholarship, 2016