Cardiac Electromechanics

Cardiac dysfunction may have many causes, such as an infarction, an electrical conduction disorder, a valvular disease, cardiac cardiomyopathy, or cardiac failure. We develop (finite element) models based on physical and physiological principles, that describe the relation between underlying cause and clinically observable effects of cardiac dysfunction. Ultimately, these models are intended to be used for model-assisted diagnosis and treatment selection.

An important characteristic of our approach is the use of models that describe cardiac adaptation, i.e. the functional response of  the myocardial tissue to changes in mechanical loading state. These models facilitate the translation from a generic to a patient-specific model and also enable prediction of the long-term effect of an intervention.

As an example, we designed a model to describe adaptive remodeling of the orientation of the myofibers in the cardiac wall (PhD thesis Wilco Kroon). This model was further applied in biventricular models of cardiac function, used to investigate treatment of patients with heart failure in combination with electrical conduction disorders by cardiac resynchronization therapy (PhD thesis Marieke Pluijmert). 

Current research proceeds along two PhD projects. Firstly, we extend our models of long-term adaptation with a description of tissue growth as a basis for better understanding of cardiac hypertrophy and failure (Emanuele Rondanina). Secondly, we extend our generic models of cardiac electro-mechanics to image based patient specific models, for extraction of spatial maps of cardiac tissue properties ((Luca Barbarotta). These two PhD projects are part of the MUSICA project, funded by the Marie Curie Actions program of the EU.  

Students working on this project

Luca Barbarotta (PhD), Emanuele Rondanina (PhD), Eric Chen (PhD), Nick van Osta (MSc), Tim van Loon (BSc) & Lex van Hout (BSc)

Completed PhD projects:

Marieke Pluijmert, Wilco Kroon, Roy Kerckhoffs, Liesbeth Geerts-Ossevoort, Marko Vendelin, Jons Rijcken

Completed MSc projects:

Roel Meiburg, Adrián Flores de la Parra

Completed BSc projects:

Nick van Osta, Koen Franse