74th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics (November 21, 2021 — November 23, 2021)

V0029: Electro-Fluid-Mechanics of the Heart

  • Francesco Viola, Gran Sasso Science Institute
  • Giulio Del Corso, Gran Sasso Science Institute
  • Roberto Verzicco, University of Rome Tor Vergata
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/APS.DFD.2021.GFM.V0029

Cardiac disease remains the most common cause of mortality in the industrialized world and innovative tools are needed for the improvement of treatment outcomes without increasing, concurrently, the medical costs. With the above motivations, we have developed and validated a multi-physics model of the whole human heart that can cope with the electrophysiology of the myocardium, its active contraction and passive relaxation, the dynamics of the cardiac valves and the 3D hemodynamics. All these electrical, structural and fluid components are three-way coupled with each other, thus capturing the fully synergistic Physics that allows the heart to function continuously using only 8W of power. 

This computational framework yields realistic results in terms of myocardium activation, hemodynamics and wall shear stresses. Furthermore, it could be a precious tool to improve the predicting capabilities of diagnostics and to refine surgical techniques, as well as to test the performance of prosthetic devices. This work makes a substantial step forward in the systematic use of computational engineering in medical research to run reliable in silico experiments.

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