The force-frequency relationship: Insights from mathematical modeling

Jose L. Puglisi, Jorge A. Negroni, Ye Chen-Izu, Donald M Bers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The force-frequency relationship has intrigued researchers since its discovery by Bowditch in 1871. Many attempts have been made toconstruct mathematical descriptions of this phenomenon, beginning with the simple formulation of Koch-Wesser and Blinks in 1963 to themost sophisticated ones of today. This property of cardiac muscle is amplified by β-adrenergic stimulation, and, in a coordinated way, the neurohumoral state alters both frequency (acting on the sinoatrialnode) as well as force generation (modifying ventricular myocytes).This synchronized tuning is needed to meet new metabolic demands.Cardiac modelers have already linked mechanical and electrical activity in their formulations and showed how those activities feedbackon each other. However, now it is necessary to include neurological control to have a complete description of heart performance, especially when changes in frequency are involved. Study of arrhythmias(or antiarrhythmic drugs) based on mathematical models should incorporate this effect to make useful predictions or point out potential pharmaceutical targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Advances in Physiology Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013


  • Force frequency
  • Math modeling
  • Staircase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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