Title: Adaptive numerical methods for cardiac fluid-structure interaction and electrophysiology

Author: Boyce Griffith - New York University

Boyce Griffith Dr. Griffith is a researcher at New York University. His research interests include simulation in medicine and biology, numerical and computational methods for modeling and simulating physiological systems, coupled blood-muscle-valve mechanics of the heart, cardiac electrophysiology, adaptive methods for partial differential equations, parallel scientific computing.

His research is focused on numerical and computational methods for modeling and simulating large physiological systems, with a strong emphasis on cardiac physiology. This work includes the development of numerical methods and computational tools for the cardiac bidomain equations, a constrained system of reaction-diffusion equations that provide a macroscopic description of the electrical activity of cardiac muscle tissue. He has also designed and implemented adaptive and parallel algorithms for fluid-structure interaction problems that he is presently using to simulate the coupled blood-muscle-valve mechanics of the beating heart. This work has included the development of a new hybrid projection method for the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations as well as a new parallel, spatially adaptive implementation of Peskin's immersed boundary method.

While cardiac electrical dynamics and coupled blood-muscle-valve mechanics have typically been modeled separately in prior research, the primary goal of this work is to develop a medically useful computational platform for studying cardiac physiology that includes the coupling of electrophysiology and mechanics.


Cardiovascular diseases have been the leading cause of death in the United States for over a century, and as the population ages, the number of individual suffering from conditions such as heart failure is growing steadily. Computer simulation promises to allow for the optimization of medical devices and clinical interventions, but in order to do so, realistic models of the heart must first be developed, as well as accurate and efficient numerical methods for the model equations.

In this talk, Dr. Griffith will describe ongoing work that aims to develop a whole heart model of cardiac electro-mechanics, focusing on the use of adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) for problems of fluid-structure interaction and bidomain electrophysiology. He will present results from the application of these methods to the three-dimensional simulation of blood flow in a model of the human aortic heart valve and in a model of the heart and nearby great vessels, and to the three-dimensional simulation of cardiac conduction in models of the ventricular myocardium.

Basic details of cardiac physiology will be introduced as necessary, and computer animations of the simulation results will be shown.