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Modelling the cardiac response to a mechanical stimulation using a low-order model of the heart


  • Received: 28 February 2021 Accepted: 24 May 2021 Published: 03 June 2021
  • Heart diseases are one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and a dysfunction of the cardiac electrical mechanisms is responsible for a significant portion of these deaths. One of these mechanisms, the mechano-electric feedback (MEF), is the electrical response of the heart to local mechanical changes in the environment. This electrical response, in turn, leads to macroscopic changes in heart function. In this paper, we demonstrate that the MEF plays a crucial role in mechanical generation and recovery from arrhythmia which has been observed in experimental studies. To this end, we investigate the cardiac response to a mechanical stimulation using a minimal, multiscale model of the heart which couples the organ level dynamics (left ventricular pressure and volume) and contractile dynamics. By including a mechanical stimulation into the model as a (short, sudden) impulse in the muscle microscale stress, we investigate how the timing, amplitude and duration of the impulse affect the cardiac cycle. In particular, when introduced in the diastolic period of the cardiac cycle, the pulse rate can be stabilised, and ectopic beats and bifurcation can be eliminated, either temporarily or permanently. The stimulation amplitude is a key indicator to this response. We find an optimal value of the impulse amplitude above or below which the impulse maximises the stabilisation. As a result a dysfunction of the MEF can be helped using a mechanical stimulation, by allowing the heart to recover its pumping power. On the other hand, when the mechanical stimulation is introduced towards the end of systole, arrhythmia can be generated.

    Citation: Nicholas Pearce, Eun-jin Kim. Modelling the cardiac response to a mechanical stimulation using a low-order model of the heart[J]. Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, 2021, 18(4): 4871-4893. doi: 10.3934/mbe.2021248

    Related Papers:

  • Heart diseases are one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and a dysfunction of the cardiac electrical mechanisms is responsible for a significant portion of these deaths. One of these mechanisms, the mechano-electric feedback (MEF), is the electrical response of the heart to local mechanical changes in the environment. This electrical response, in turn, leads to macroscopic changes in heart function. In this paper, we demonstrate that the MEF plays a crucial role in mechanical generation and recovery from arrhythmia which has been observed in experimental studies. To this end, we investigate the cardiac response to a mechanical stimulation using a minimal, multiscale model of the heart which couples the organ level dynamics (left ventricular pressure and volume) and contractile dynamics. By including a mechanical stimulation into the model as a (short, sudden) impulse in the muscle microscale stress, we investigate how the timing, amplitude and duration of the impulse affect the cardiac cycle. In particular, when introduced in the diastolic period of the cardiac cycle, the pulse rate can be stabilised, and ectopic beats and bifurcation can be eliminated, either temporarily or permanently. The stimulation amplitude is a key indicator to this response. We find an optimal value of the impulse amplitude above or below which the impulse maximises the stabilisation. As a result a dysfunction of the MEF can be helped using a mechanical stimulation, by allowing the heart to recover its pumping power. On the other hand, when the mechanical stimulation is introduced towards the end of systole, arrhythmia can be generated.



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