Francesco Regazzoni, Matteo Salvador, Pasquale Claudio Africa, Marco Fedele, Luca Dede’, Alfio Quarteroni

Open Access:

In the framework of accurate and efficient segregated schemes for 3D cardiac electromechanics and 0D cardiovascular models, we propose here a novel numerical approach to address the coupled 3D-0D problem introduced in Part I of this two-part series of papers. We combine implicit-explicit schemes to solve the different cardiac models in a multiphysics setting. We properly separate and manage the different time and space scales related to cardiac electromechanics and blood circulation. We employ a flexible and scalable intergrid transfer operator that enables to interpolate Finite Element functions among different meshes and, possibly, among different Finite Element spaces. We propose a numerical method to couple the 3D electromechanical model and the 0D circulation model in a numerically stable manner within a fully segregated fashion. No adaptations are required through the different phases of the heartbeat. We also propose a robust algorithm to reconstruct the stress-free reference configuration. Due to the computational cost associated with the numerical solution of this inverse problem, the reference configuration recovery algorithm comes along with a novel projection technique to precisely recover the unloaded geometry from a coarser representation of the computational domain. We show the convergence property of our numerical schemes by performing an accuracy study through grid refinement. To prove the biophysical accuracy of our computational model, we also address different scenarios of clinical interest in our numerical simulations by varying preload, afterload and contractility. Indeed, we simulate physiologically relevant behaviors and we reproduce meaningful results in the context of cardiac function.