Digital Public Defence: Pengfei Lu

MSc Pengfei Lu at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis Cardiomyocyte Communication for Heart Applications for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Amalie Huth Hovland, UiO

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

Click here to participate in the public defence

Download Zoom here

Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.


Digital Trial Lecture - time and place

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Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Professor Robert Schober, Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
  • Second opponent: Senior Researcher Valeria Loscri, Inria Lille-Nord Europe, France
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Professor Farrukh Abbas Chaudhry, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo

Chair of defence

Professor Joel Glover, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Professor Ilangko Balasingham, Department of Electronic Systems, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim


Leads required in conventional pacemakers may cause vein thrombosis or lead to intracardiac infection. Miniaturization of electronic components makes it possible to place a complete pacemaker-system inside the heart.  Micro- or nano- technology can make it possible to develop devices that pace at the cellular level, saving energy and lead to development of small intracardiac pacemakers with acceptable longevity.

The aim of the thesis focuses on the study of energy-efficient methods for cardiomyocyte-stimulation and communication using simulation- and in-vitro experiments.

We investigated optimal stimulation pulses for pacing of single cardiomyocytes, the potential use of ionic-based intracellular signaling systems in single cells and electrical-based subthreshold communications in multiple cells using computational methods. In-vitro mouse cardiomyocyte-experiments were used to verify results from the computational model. 

We concluded that a single half-sine pulse provides optimal stimulation among the selected pulse (square, half-sine, sine, sawtooth). Emitted potassium ions were found to be associated with channel capacity for communication and membrane potential of the cardiomyocyte. Electrical-based subthreshold communication could transmit signals, and these signals can propagate reliably as far as ten cells.

In conclusion we found that specialized stimulation protocols- applied at the cellular level and the use of subthreshold communication mechanisms adapted to a cardiomyocyte-network could help the development of micro- or nano-sized intracardiac pacing technology.

Additional information

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Published Feb. 18, 2021 12:55 PM - Last modified Mar. 4, 2021 10:32 AM