Professor Bruce Henry Smaill

BE BSc(Hons) Cant., DIC PhD Lond.


Professor Bruce Smaill is a Principal Investigator in the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, and a long-standing member of the Department of Physiology.

Research | Current

Professor Bruce Smaill is interested in the muscular architecture of the heart and how this affects electrical and mechanical function in normal and diseased hearts.

His research with colleagues in Auckland has been influential in the field. It combines structural imaging, experimental studies and computer modelling, and involves a team of physiologists, bioengineers and clinicians.

Research links

Postgraduate supervision


  • Jesse Ashton, Neural architecture in the right atrium and its role in the development and maintenance of atrial arrhythmias in heart disease
  • Prashanna Khwaounjoo, Fibrosis and sudden cardiac death
  • Shu Meng, Characterising substrates for persistent atria fibrillation
  • Girish Ramlugun, Characterization of Fibrosis and Its Functional Role in Persistent Atrial Fibrillation
  • Sally Rutherford, Structure and electrical propagation in the border zone of a healed myocardial infarct
  • Belvin Thomas, Computer modeling of persistent atrial fibrillation BTHO733

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Zhao, J., Schotten, U., Smaill, B., & Verheule, S. (2018). Loss of side-to-side connections affects the relative contributions of the sodium and calcium current to transverse propagation between strands of atrial myocytes. Frontiers in Physiology, 9 (SEP).10.3389/fphys.2018.01212
  • Xiong, Z., Liu, T., Tse, G., Gong, M., Gladding, P. A., Smaill, B. H., ... Zhao, J. (2018). A Machine Learning Aided Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Relative Risk of Atrial Fibrillation in Patients With Diabetes Mellitus. Frontiers in Physiology, 9.10.3389/fphys.2018.00835
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jichao Zhao
  • Fu, X., Liu, T., Xiong, Z., Smaill, B. H., Stiles, M. K., & Zhao, J. (2018). Segmentation of histological images and fibrosis identification with a convolutional neural network. Computers in biology and medicine, 98, 147-158. 10.1016/j.compbiomed.2018.05.015
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jichao Zhao
  • Bear, L. R., LeGrice, I. J., Sands, G. B., Lever, N. A., Loiselle, D. S., Paterson, D. J., ... Smaill, B. H. (2018). How Accurate Is Inverse Electrocardiographic Mapping? A Systematic In Vivo Evaluation. Circulation. Arrhythmia and electrophysiology, 11 (5)10.1161/circep.117.006108
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Denis Loiselle, Ian LeGrice, Gregory Sands
  • Ashton, J. L., Burton, R. A. B., Bub, G., Smaill, B. H., & Montgomery, J. M. (2018). Synaptic Plasticity in Cardiac Innervation and Its Potential Role in Atrial Fibrillation. Frontiers in physiology, 910.3389/fphys.2018.00240
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jesse Ashton, Johanna Montgomery
  • Caldwell, B. J., Trew, M. L., Le Grice, I., & Smaill, B. (2017). Development of 3D intramural and surface potentials in the LV: microstructural basis of preferential transmural conduction. Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, 28 (6), 692-701. 10.1111/jce.13207
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Bryan Caldwell, Mark Trew, Ian LeGrice
  • Ashton, J. L., Le Grice, I. J., Paterson, D. J., Paton, J. F. R., Trew, M. L., Gillis, A. M., & Smaill, B. H. (2017). Shift of dominant pacemaker site during reflex vagal stimulation is the result of propagation failure. Paper presented at Heart Rhythm Society 38th Annual Scientific Sessions, Chicago, USA. 10 May - 13 May 2017. Heart Rhythm. 10.1016/j.hrthm.2017.04.010
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jesse Ashton, Ian LeGrice, David Paterson, Julian Paton, Mark Trew
  • Meng, S., Zhao, J., Le Grice, I., Lever, N., Sands, G., Bear, L., ... Smaill, B. (2017). Atrial electro-anatomic mapping with a novel noncontact approach. Computing in Cardiology. 10.22489/CinC.2017.105-291
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jichao Zhao, Gregory Sands, Shu Meng

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 6, Room 637
New Zealand

Secondary office location

Level 6 , Room 643
New Zealand