In this work, a new framework is presented that is suitable to solve the cardiac bidomain equation efficiently using the scientific computing library PETSc. Furthermore, the framework is able to modularly combine different ionic channels and is flexible enough to include arbitrary heterogeneities in ionic or coupling channel density. The ability of this framework is demonstrated in an example simulation in which the three-dimensional electrophysiological heterogeneity was adjusted in order to get a positive T-wave in the body electrocardiogram (ECG).
Conference Contributions (2)
M. Karl, G. Seemann, F. Sachse, O. Dössel, and V. Heuveline. Time and memory efficient implementation of the cardiac bidomain equations. In 4th European Conference of the International Federation for Medical and Biological Engineering, IFMBE Proceedings, vol. 22, 2008
Computer simulations can significantly improve comprehension of cardiac electrophysiology. A mathematical model for the simulation of complex cardiac electrophysiology is the bidomain model. A new tool, acCELLerate, was developed using the PETSc library  for a parallel time and memory efficient implementation of the bidomain equations enabling the computation of large scale cardiac simulations. It offers an extensible modular structure. The optimization of the cost-intensive solution of the elliptical part of the bidomain equation was achieved by analyzing several iterative Krylov subspace methods and preconditioners provided by PETSc. Best performance results were achieved by using a combination of minimal residual method (MinRes), conjugate residual method (CR) or conjugate grandient method (CG) as solver with adjusted successive over-relaxation preconditioning (SOR). A validation proved the authenticity of the new tool.
Generally, models of cardiac electrophysiology describe physiologic conditions in detail. However, other conditions, such as drug interactions or mutations of ion channels are of interest for research. Therefore, the simulated ion currents have to be fitted to measured voltage or patch clamp data. In this work, three different methods for the model parametrization were compared: one based on Powells algorithm implemented in a modular C++ framework and two optimization techniques realized in Matlab. The latter two approaches differed in solving the ordinary differential equations describing the channel gating. They can either be approximated numerically or solved analytically, since the transmembrane voltage is a piecewise constant function during the applied clamp protocol. All three methods were compared regarding computing time and quality of the fit using least squares. The modular C++ framework was slower than the numerical Matlab method, which took longer than the analytical one. The quality of the fit was similar for almost all analyzed methods. Therefore, the analytical method grants a fast and reliable solution for the calibration of ion current models for applications with constant membrane voltage, as e.g. in case of voltage or patch clamp data.