Dr.-Ing. Matthias Reumann


Simulating the hearts function aims not only at further understanding the underlying mechanisms of the patho–physiological behaviour of the heart but also at improving treatment of heart disease. At the Institute of Biomedical Engineering at the Universität Karlsruhe (TH), cooperation with mainly the Department of Cardiac Surgery of the University of Heidelberg is established. The pathologies under investigation are Congestive Heart Failure and Atrial Fibrillation with their respective pacing therapies and surgical interventions in AF.

The clinical focus is set on improving haemodynamics in patients with congestive heart failure and in evaluating interventional and surgical approaches to cure and prevent atrial fibrillation. The therapy for congestive heart failure includes the implantation of a pacemaker. Computer simulations are used here to evaluate the optimal position and timing of the pacemaker electrodes in the ventricle. The surgical options to treat atrial fibrillation are most commonly setting ablation lesions. Unfortunately, only one lesion set can be tried in one patient. Additional lesions can be set in further operations but this is undesirable. Computer simulations can preoperatively evaluate several ablation lesions sets in patient data. Thus, the outcome of a certain strategy can be estimated. But also, patients with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator can receive atrial antitachycardial pacing. Although clinical trials have been carried out to evaluate both therapies, a systematic approach to optimise them using computer models has not yet been done.

Therefore, the following important research objectives have been set:
•    Creating patient individual heart models – both anatomically and patho–physiologically.
•    Making the simulation of the hearts function (electrophysiology and mechanics) suitable for clinical use.
•    Validation of the models in animal studies and clinical trials.
•    Evaluation and optimisation of therapies such as cardiac resynchronisation therapy, ablation lesion sets to cure atrial fibrillation and overdrive pacing to prevent atrial fibrillation.

Currently the following projects targetting the above objectives are investigated:
•    Simulating the initiation and maintanance of atrial fibrillation on realistic anatomical data
•    Evaluation of interventional and surgical ablation strategies for the treatment of atrial fibrillation
•    Atrial antitachycardial pacing for the prevention and termination of atrial fibrillation
•    Optimization of cardiac resynchronization therapy


2nd Prize of the Kenichi Harumi Young Investigator’s Award for the contribution „The role of conduction delay and complex anatomical structures in the initiation and maintenance of atrial fibrillation“ at the 33rd International Congress on Electrocardiology 2006

1st Prize at the „Joint Conference ICMP – BMT 2006“ with the work on „Computer-Aided Evaluation and Optimisation of Biventricular Pacing for Patients with Congestive Heart Failure“ K. Nissen née Albrecht, M. Reumann, G. Seemann, G. Reinerth, C. F. Vahl, O. Dössel


Personal Profile

Born January 6th 1978 in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, I grew up in Niederhöchstadt, a small tranquil suburban village near Frankfurt. I completed my school education at the Liebigschule in 1997 with the second best result. Due to my academic achievment and social commitment as student representative and member of the schools orchestra and big band, I recieved the Liebig Prize in 1997. During the compulsory military service I recieved training as paramedic in Leer, Germany and Fürstenau, Germany, before joining the music corps in Koblenz, Germany.
My interest in biomedical engineering started during my studies in Southampton where I started my undergaduate degree in Electronics. In my third year I worked on a group project to visualise 2D ultrasound images in a virtual 3D computer environment for the diagnosis of mamma cancer. The forth year I spend in Karlsruhe at the Universität Karlsruhe (TH) where I got to know Prof. Dössels group at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBT). Here, I worked part time in education. My final year project was concerned with directional ultrasound at the Daimler Chrysler research centre in Ulm, Germany. As part of my final year at the ESIEE in Paris, France, I wrote the report in French and presented my work in Paris, too. In 2003 I recieve the Masters of Engineering in Electronics degree with the Tripartite Diploma – First Class Honours – from the University of Southampton, England.

In July 2003 I started working in Prof. Dössels group at the IBT straight after finishing my degree. My scientific interest were first in a large collaborative project by the Germany Reasearch Foundation (DFG) called SFB 414 „Informationstechnik in der Medizin – Rechner- und sensorgestützte Medizin (Information technology in medicine – computer- and sensor enhanced medicine)“. At the same time I worked on a study by the BMBF – the federal governmental secretary for education and research – with the title „Situation der Medizintechnik in Deutschland im internationalen Vergleich (current situation of medical technology in Germany in an international context)“.
Based on my scientific work, projects and collaborations in the area of computer–based therapy planning in cardiology and cardiac surgery were initiated (see „Research Projects“ below). My projects are very much clinically based and collaborations with the Department of Cardiac Surgery of the University of Heidelberg and other medical partners from university and industry exist.

Further to my scientific work, my responsibilities are in organising and carrying out excercise classes an tutorials in a first year lecture which is attended by 300 – 350 students. I recieved a certificate in higher education („Zertifikat Hochschuldidaktik des Landes Baden–Württemberg) for which I changed some aspects of the lecture including education of the tutors and introduction of active and cooperate learning strategies. The experiences of my work will be published in the Journal „Handbuch Hochschullehre“ (Raabe Verlag), ie. the paper has been accepted and is due to appear in 2006. Also, our concept of active and cooperative learning in a first year lecture with 300 – 350 students including project work fulfilling the ABET engineering criteria was submitted to the MedidaPrix 2006 competition. The results are due at the end of September 2006.
I further supervise student projects leading to respectable results: Katrin Nissen née Albrecht won the 1st Prize in a student competition at International Conference on Medical Physics and the Annual Meeting of the German Society of Biomedical Engineering the ICMP – BMT 2006.