Effects of macroscopic heterogeneity on propagation in a computationally inexpensive 2D model of the heart


We have developed a computationally inexpensive, two-dimensional, bidomain model of the heart to demonstrate the effect of tissue heterogeneity on propagation of cardiac impulses generated by the sino-atrial node (SAN). The geometry consists of a thin sheet of cardiac tissue with designated areas that represent the SAN and atria. The SAN auto-generates continuous impulses that result in waves of normal propagation throughout the tissue. On the introduction of heterogeneous patches with low tissue conductivities, the rhythm of the waveform becomes irregular. The study suggests that simplified and computationally inexpensive models can be insightful tools to better understand the mechanisms that cause atrial fibrillation (AF) and hence more effective treatment methods.

Publication Title

2014 36th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC 2014