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A Numerical Method for Cardiac Mechanoelectric Simulations

P. Pathmanathan and J.P. Whiteley


Much effort has been devoted to developing numerical techniques for solving the equations that describe cardiac electrophysiology, namely the monodomain equations and bidomain equations. Only a limited selection of publications, however, address the development of numerical techniques for mechanoelectric simulations where cardiac electrophysiology is coupled with deformation of cardiac tissue. One problem commonly encountered in mechanoelectric simulations is instability of the coupled numerical scheme. In this study, we develop a stable numerical scheme for mechanoelectric simulations. A number of convergence tests are carried out using this stable technique for simulations where deformations are of the magnitude typically observed in a beating heart. These convergence tests demonstrate that accurate computation of tissue deformation requires a nodal spacing of around 1 mm in the mesh used to calculate tissue deformation. This is a much finer computational grid than has previously been acknowledged, and has implications for the computational efficiency of the resulting numerical scheme.

Annals of Biomedical Engineering