Expansion of Scroll Wave Filaments Induced by Chiral Mismatch

Daniel Weingard, Oliver Steinbock, Richard Bertram

In three-dimensional excitable systems, scroll waves are rotating vortex states that consist of smoothly stacked spirals. This stacking occurs along one-dimensional phase singularities called filaments. If the system has a positive filament tension, these curves either straighten or collapse over time. The collapse can be prevented if the filament pins to a nonreactive object or group of objects, but even in this case the filament length does not typically grow. Using numerical simulations, we provide examples of filament growth induced by pinning, such as a scroll ring pinning to an inert trefoil knot, and explain the mechanism of this growth. Surprisingly, the corresponding filament loop thus not only persists in time, but steadily extends far from the pinning object.