Computational modeling of cardiac tissue with strongly coupled electromechanics and orthotropic viscoelastic effects

Cansiz, Baris
Dal, Hüsnü
Kaliske, Michael
Modeling of complex mechanisms leading to the functioning of the heart has been an active field of research since decades. Difficulties associated with in vivo experiments motivate the utilization of computational models in order to gain a better appreciation of heart electromechanics. Although rate dependent behaviour of the orthotropic passive heart tissue has been comprehensively studied in the literature [1], effects of this phenomenon on fully coupled cardiac electromechanics are unrevealed yet. Therefore, this contribution is concerned with the investigation of viscous effects on the electromechanical response of the myocardium. To this end, we adopt the fully implicit finite element framework which strongly couples the mechanical and electrophysiological problem of the myocardium in a mono‐ and bi‐domain setting [2,3], respectively. Viscous effects, however, are consistently embedded into this framework by making use of the orthotropic viscoelastic material model for the passive myocardium, which considers different relaxation mechanisms for the different orientation directions [5]. The performance of the proposed model is assessed by comparing finite element simulations of spiral waves in heart tissue for elastic and viscoelastic formulations. We further investigate the influence of viscosity on the defibrillation phenomenon by means of the finite element formulation of bidomain electrophysiology.