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How can I simulate heart electrical activity in a 2D plane?


I am not a biologist/medical student, I study software engineering. But I really like when medicine and engineering hold their hands together to achieve great things.

As a side/toy project, I was looking at creating a basic app that allows the simulation of the electrical conductivity of the heart (eg in the Left Atria), and to simulate some rotor drivers and fibrosis.

I got inspired by this Android App.

This app almost does what I want. Ideally I would like to extend this app to allow a more accurate model, allow fibrosis, allow pacing (i.e. manual intervalled stimulation of one point on tissue and see if it reveals rotors), and of course, allow manual ablation.

Unfortunately, this app has 2 issues for me:

  • I didn't find the source code of it, and I would not want to reverse engineer it and use it, even if just for fun, without any kind of consent. As a matter of principle, and I believe that all these kind of research should be open to the public by default, that's how Humanity evolves.

  • I don't know if this app is "too simplistic" in this simulation, I would like to use a more accurate model if possible (and still have this real-time simulation). I have seen tools such as OpenCARP, but they seem too heavy for a lightweight app, and I could not find a single tutorial showing how to make a 2D simulation of this kind of electrical activity, much less to do it in real-time and with user interaction. You can see that this app's rotors are not very accurate, as they do not depend on the tissue they conduct on, you can see as the simulation progresses, rotors are always generated at different spots, while in the real world rotors have a fixed location that corresponds to their core (which does not move constantly!), as depicted bellow:

So, it all boils down to: I will create my own app, inspired by that one, I will make its code publicly available, extend a few features and try to design it in a modular way such that other people can then easily extend it.

My ultimate question here regards the electrical physiology part of these simulators. And I need your suggestion: What is a good model for the electrical propagation, that I can use, that accounts for "fibrotic" obstacles, multiple rotors, etc.?

From a paper I have read regarding this topic, I found out they were using this model and obtaining some satisfactory results. Paper from that model.

I am still reading their paper, but their model seems complex to implement and probably will not result in any kind of real-time simulation (it seems it can take hours to simulate a single second of electrical activity).

So I would like to ask you what is the best model I could use for my app, that allows for a more real-time (not necessarily real, but at least allowing some 10fps, similar to the app), dynamic features (like different conductivity in different cells, fibrosis, manual pacing, rotors, etc.), being more accurate than what this app looks like?

Thank you!


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