Patient-Specific Biomechanical Modeling of the Heart - Application in Dilated Cardiomyopathy

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Cardiomyopathies are one of the principal causes of heart failure. They affect the mechanical properties of the myocardium, usually resulting in a reduced pumping action. In the United States, more than 10,000 people die
ever year due to this cardiac dysfunction [Nature 415, 227-233].

In this research project, an biomechanical computer model is used to simulate the contraction of the heart. It is coupled with an electrophysiological model which is used to simulate the excitation conduction and the tension development of the heart.

For a patient-specific simulation, the inverse problem of cardiac biomechanics has to be solved. Hereby, the mechanical parameters (e.g. contractility, elasticity) of the simulation are be adapted in such a way that the simulation output matches the 4D Cine MRI data of the patient with cardiomyopathy.

Patient-Specific Biomechanical Modeling of the Heart

The individualized computer model will serve as a tool to further analyze the heart function and to determine mechanical properties of myopathic tissue. This information can support the diagnosis and therapy planning. Furthermore, the computer model can be used to improve surgical interventions.