Modeling Cardiac Electromechanics and Mechanoelectrical Coupling in Dyssynchronous and Failing Hearts

Nico H. L. Kuijpers*, Evelien Hermeling, Peter H. M. Bovendeerd, Tammo Delhaas, Frits W. Prinzen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

20 Citations (Web of Science)


Computer models have become more and more a research tool to obtain mechanistic insight in the effects of dyssynchrony and heart failure. Increasing computational power in combination with increasing amounts of experimental and clinical data enables the development of mathematical models that describe electrical and mechanical behavior of the heart. By combining models based on data at the molecular and cellular level with models that describe organ function, so-called multi-scale models are created that describe heart function at different length and time scales. In this review, we describe basic modules that can be identified in multi-scale models of cardiac electromechanics. These modules simulate ionic membrane currents, calcium handling, excitation-contraction coupling, action potential propagation, and cardiac mechanics and hemodynamics. In addition, we discuss adaptive modeling approaches that aim to address long-term effects of diseases and therapy on growth, changes in fiber orientation, ionic membrane currents, and calcium handling. Finally, we discuss the first developments in patient-specific modeling. While current models still have shortcomings, well-chosen applications show promising results on some ultimate goals: understanding mechanisms of dyssynchronous heart failure and tuning pacing strategy to a particular patient, even before starting the therapy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-169
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Translational Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012


  • Adaptive modeling
  • Cardiac dyssynchrony
  • Heart failure
  • Mechanoelectrical coupling
  • Multi-scale model
  • Patient-specific

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