Analyzing the Electro-Mechanical heterogeneity of the heart using Computer Modeling

Analyzing the Electro-Mechanical heterogeneity of the heart using Computer Modeling

Project Description

The goal of the Diploma Thesis is analyzing the sources of Electro-Physiology Heterogeneity and their influence on the mechanical behavior of the human heart.
First, a literature research will be conducted to identify the Electro-Physiological and mechanical heterogeneities that exist in the heart.
These heterogeneities will be introduced, or integrated with an already functional human ventricle Electro-Physiology model. The Parameters of a Force Development model that was developed in the IBT will be adapted in a way that the force generation reflects the reality. In this model, mechanical deformation activated Ion Channels will be developed and integrated. That allows the feedback influence of the Mechanical deformation model on the Electro-Physiological model.

The main part of the thesis will focus on the mechanical modeling. The heart's mechanical deformation will be modeled using a Mass Spring model. This model is still under development. A part of the thesis will be the parameterization of this model to simulate the mechanical behavior of the heart.
The heart tissue, being an anisotropic, hyper-elastic and an incompressible object, put some difficulties in the way. These properties can be best-described using continuum mechanics equations, which will be used to parameterize the Mass Spring model.

The next step will be the efficient solving of the Differential Equations that describe the deformation. For this problem, free available numerical software packages can be used.

The Introduction of the boarder condition will be next. The blood pressure changes dynamically in the heart cavities. The heart is contained in a sack and is fixed with the Blood vessels.

At the end of the project, a reconstruction of an experiment, in which the Electro-Mechanical heterogeneity is presented. The goal of the simulation will be to check which ion channels, exert influence over the mechanics of the heart, and how the summation of the Ion Channels heterogeneities generate the mechanical heterogeneity.