High-throughput cardiac science on the Grid.
Abramson D., Bernabeu MO., Bethwaite B., Burrage K., Corrias A., Enticott C., Garic S., Gavaghan D., Peachey T., Pitt-Francis J., Pueyo E., Rodriguez B., Sher A., Tan J.
Cardiac electrophysiology is a mature discipline, with the first model of a cardiac cell action potential having been developed in 1962. Current models range from single ion channels, through very complex models of individual cardiac cells, to geometrically and anatomically detailed models of the electrical activity in whole ventricles. A critical issue for model developers is how to choose parameters that allow the model to faithfully reproduce observed physiological effects without over-fitting. In this paper, we discuss the use of a parametric modelling toolkit, called Nimrod, that makes it possible both to explore model behaviour as parameters are changed and also to tune parameters by optimizing model output. Importantly, Nimrod leverages computers on the Grid, accelerating experiments by using available high-performance platforms. We illustrate the use of Nimrod with two case studies, one at the cardiac tissue level and one at the cellular level.