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Section: New Results

Mathematical and Mechanical Modeling

Modelling of collagen fibers elastic properties

Participants : Peter Baumgartner, Florent Wijanto, Jean-Marc Allain [correspondant] , Matthieu Caruel [Univ. Paris-Est] .

Our studies on collagen tissues have shown that the collagen fibers are able to elongate inelastically under stretch. In tendons, this effect has been attributed to the non-permanent cross-bridges that connect the different collagen fibrils (to assemble a fiber). This sliding effect appears experimentally to be reversible (at least partially) if the tissue is left long enough at its initial resting length. However, this sliding is classically included as an irreversible plastic response, or as a damage of the tissue. We are building a model based on a stochastic description of the binding and unbinding of the cross-bridges. This approach will enable us to have a microscopically based picture of the sliding, which will be able to explain some alterations in case of aging or pathologies of the tissue. At the moment, we have shown the importance of the density of cross-bridges in the cooperative response of the system. A publication is in preparation on the topic.

Multi-scale modeling of cardiac contraction

Participants : François Kimmig, Matthieu Caruel [Univ. Paris-Est] , Dominique Chapelle [correspondant] , Philippe Moireau.

This work aims at proposing a set of models of the muscular contraction targeting different scales in time and space and that can be used in the context of heart simulation. To this end, we developed so far two models using different approaches for the modeling of the force generating process at the molecular level called power stroke. First, we revised the standard chemo-mechanical models, which see the power stroke as a series of chemical states. Following the idea introduced by Truskinovsky and collaborators describing the power stroke as a continuum of mechanical states with the dynamics of the myosin head in the prescribed energy landscape governed by Langevin equations, we incorporated the attachment and detachment dynamics in the form of jump processes. In a second step, noting that the power stroke time scale is much shorter than that of heart contraction, we eliminated the power strokes dynamics and derived a two state – attached and detached –  simplified model, each state being in fact associated with a statistical distribution of myosin head configurations. Both models have been integrated into our simulation framework CardiacLab, in order to benefit from the other modeling compartments available in the code, such as the geometrically reduced model of the heart left ventricle also developed in the team. These modeling elements will be confronted with experiments performed on cardiac muscle cells by collaborators in the team of Professor Lombardi at the University of Florence.

Mathematical and numerical modeling of shear waves propagation in the heart

Participants : Federica Caforio, Sébastien Imperiale [correspondant] , Dominique Chapelle.

Shear acoustic waves remotely induced by the acoustic radiation force (ARF) of a focused ultrasound beam generated by piezoelectric sensors have been recently used in biomedical applications, e.g. in transient elastography techniques. By measuring the propagation velocity of generated shear waves in biological tissues, it is possible to locally assess biomechanical properties highly sensitive to structural changes corresponding to physiological and pathological processes. Recent experimental studies show the feasibility of applying transient elastography to the cardiac setting. In this context, the wave propagation induced by the ARF is superposed with the nonlinear mechanics associated with the heart deformation during the cardiac cycle. The aim of this work is to mathematically justify an original expression of the excitation induced by the ARF in nonlinear solids, based on energy considerations and asymptotic analysis. In soft media the propagation velocity of shear waves (1--10m.s-1) is much smaller than the velocity of pressure waves (1500m.s-1). The approach we propose consists in considering a family of problems parametrised by a small parameter ε related to the velocity ratio between the two wave propagation phenomena, the high frequency of the piezoelectric source term and the viscosity. In order to derive a simplified model for the expression of ARF, we investigate the limit behavior of the solution for ε0. We show that the leading term of the expansion is related to the underlying nonlinear mechanics of the heart deformation, and the first two correction terms correspond to a fast-oscillating pressure wave excited by the probe, and an elastic field having as source term a nonlinear function of the first corrector. This field corresponds to the shear acoustic wave induced by the ARF.

Analysis and 2-scale convergence of a heterogeneous microscopic bidomain model

Participants : Sébastien Imperiale [correspondant] , Annabelle Collin [Monc] .

The aim of this work is to provide a complete mathematical analysis of the periodic homogenization procedure that leads to the macroscopic bidomain model in cardiac electrophysiology. We consider space-dependent and tensorial electric conductivities as well as space-dependent physiological and phenomenological non-linear ionic models. We provide the nondimensionalization of the bidomain equations and derive uniform estimates of the solutions. The homogenization procedure is done using 2-scale convergence theory which enables us to study the behavior of the non-linear ionic models in the homogenization process.

A reduced thoracic model for inverse problem solving in seismocardiography

Participants : Alexandre Laurin, Sébastien Imperiale [correspondant] , Dominique Chapelle, Philippe Moireau.

Seismocardiography (SCG) is the study of low-frequency (<60 Hz) vibrations of the thorax caused by the beating heart. Although it is assumed that SCG signals are caused by forces applied on the interior of the thorax by the heart, no comprehensive model exists to describe the parameters and relationships that govern the system. The main goal of this study is to describe in some detail the filter applied by the thorax on cardiac forces, taking into account its zone of contact with the heart as well as the zone of measurement, i.e. the location of the accelerometer on a participant's chest. A secondary goal is to identify the smallest set of parameters capable of reproducing the filter, reducing the model while retaining its capacity to lend itself to physiological interpretation. Finally, we described a method to use the reduced model to estimate cardiac forces from measured thoracic accelerations. The overall aim of the study is to develop numerical methods that can augment the existing SCG interpretations to include mechanical indices of the heart muscle, and do so in real time.