Whole Heart Modeling and Computer Simulation

  • Daming Wei
Part of the Bioelectric Engineering book series (BEEG)


Bioelectrical models of the heart are studied in three levels: the single-cell model, the cell-network (tissue) model and the whole heart model (Wei, 1997). The single-cell model describes ionic current flow across myocardial cell membranes. The cell-network model describes ionic current flow between aggregates of myocardial cells in temporal and spatial domains. Details of these models have been described in the previous chapters. The development and spread of ionic currents throughout the heart and body volume conductor result in electrical potentials that can be measured on the body surface, called electrocardiogram (ECG). A whole heart model describes three major mechanisms: the propagation of activation in the heart, the cardiac electrical sources, and the extracellular potentials within and on the body surface. This kind of model is able to relate the body surface ECG waveforms to the action potential, conduction velocity of cardiac tissue and other electrophysiological properties of the heart and, thus, yield clinically comparable ECG waveforms. For this reason, the whole heart model offers a unique means to bridge the clinical applications with the single-cell or cell-network models.


Conduction Velocity Fiber Orientation Action Potential Duration Fiber Direction Spiral Wave 
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© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daming Wei
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Graduate Department of Information SystemThe University of AizuJapan
  2. 2.Aizu-Wakamatsu City, FukushimaJapan

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