Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Sahli Costabal F., Concha F.A., Hurtado D.E. and Kuhl E. (2017)

The importance of mechano-electrical feedback and inertia in cardiac electromechanics

Revista : Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Volumen : 320
Páginas : 352-368
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


In the past years, a number of cardiac electromechanics models have been developed to better understand the excitation–contraction behavior of the heart. However, there is no agreement on whether inertial forces play a role in this system. In this study, we assess the influence of mass in electromechanical simulations, using a fully coupled finite element model. We include the effect of mechano-electrical feedback via stretch activated currents. We compare five different models: electrophysiology, electromechanics, electromechanics with mechano-electrical feedback, electromechanics with mass, and electromechanics with mass and mechano-electrical feedback. We simulate normal conduction to study conduction velocity and spiral waves to study fibrillation. During normal conduction, mass in conjunction with mechano-electrical feedback increased the conduction velocity by 8.12% in comparison to the plain electrophysiology case. During the generation of a spiral wave, mass and mechano-electrical feedback generated secondary wavefronts, which were not present in any other model. These secondary wavefronts were initiated in tensile stretch regions that induced electrical currents. We expect that this study will help the research community to better understand the importance of mechano-electrical feedback and inertia in cardiac electromechanics.