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Circ Res. 2011 Jan 7;108(1):113-28. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.110.223610.

Whole-heart modeling: applications to cardiac electrophysiology and electromechanics.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Engineering, Institute for Computational Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.


Recent developments in cardiac simulation have rendered the heart the most highly integrated example of a virtual organ. We are on the brink of a revolution in cardiac research, one in which computational modeling of proteins, cells, tissues, and the organ permit linking genomic and proteomic information to the integrated organ behavior, in the quest for a quantitative understanding of the functioning of the heart in health and disease. The goal of this review is to assess the existing state-of-the-art in whole-heart modeling and the plethora of its applications in cardiac research. General whole-heart modeling approaches are presented, and the applications of whole-heart models in cardiac electrophysiology and electromechanics research are reviewed. The article showcases the contributions that whole-heart modeling and simulation have made to our understanding of the functioning of the heart. A summary of the future developments envisioned for the field of cardiac simulation and modeling is also presented. Biophysically based computational modeling of the heart, applied to human heart physiology and the diagnosis and treatment of cardiac disease, has the potential to dramatically change 21st century cardiac research and the field of cardiology.

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