Michele Bucelli, Matteo Salvador, LucaDede’, Alfio Quarteroni
Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Volume 376, 1 April 2021, 113666

Open Access: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0045782521000025
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cma.2021.113666

In the framework of cardiac electrophysiology for the human heart, we apply multipatch NURBS-based Isogeometric Analysis for the space discretization of the Monodomain model. Isogeometric Analysis (IGA) is a technique for the solution of Partial Differential Equations (PDEs) that facilitates encapsulating the exact representation of the computational geometry by using basis functions with high-order continuity. IGA features very small numerical dissipation and dispersion when compared to other methods for the solution of PDEs. The use of multiple patches allows to overcome the conventional limitations of single patch IGA, thanks to the gained flexibility in the design of the computational domain, especially when its representation is quite involved as in bioengineering applications. We propose two algorithms for the preprocessing of CAD models of complex surface and volumetric NURBS geometries with cavities, such as atria and ventricles: our purpose is to obtain geometrically and parametrically conforming NURBS multipatch models starting from CAD models. We employ those algorithms for the construction of an IGA realistic representation of a human heart. We apply IGA for the discretization of the Monodomain equation, which describes the evolution of the cardiac action potential in space and time at the tissue level. This PDE is coupled with suitable microscopic models to define the behavior at cellular scale: the Courtemanche–Ramirez–Nattel model for the atrial simulation, and the Luo–Rudy model for the ventricular one. Numerical simulations on realistic human atria and ventricle geometries are carried out, obtaining accurate and smooth excitation fronts by combining IGA with the multipatch approach for the geometrical representation of the computational domains, either surfaces for the atria or solids for the ventricles.