High performance computer simulations for the study of biological function in 3D heart models incorporating fibre orientation and realistic geometry at Para-cellular resolution
Bernabeu MO., Bishop MJ., Pitt-Francis J., Gavaghan DJ., Grau V., Rodŕiguez B.
Information regarding the propagation dynamics of intramural electrical wavefronts in the 3D volume of the ventricles is critical in gaining a better understanding of normal and pathological cardiac function. However, investigation into such phenomena using cardiac modelling has so far been impaired due to limitations in the structural details included in current cardiac computational models. Here, we describe the technological pipeline required for the construction of realistic, highly-detailed and personalised whole ventricular models directly from high-resolution MR images and their use within a reliable, fully tested cardiac simulation software (Chaste). Simulations of cardiac propagation in the structurally-detailed model are presented that reveal the importance of complex structural geometry, fibre orientation, blood vessels and other heterogeneities in propagation of activation wavefronts through the ventricular volume. The tools and techniques presented in this study are expected to be key in the development and application of the next generation of cardiac models.