Jan 4, 2006

On the passive cardiac conductivity

Annals of Biomedical Engineering
Jeroen G StinstraRob S MacLeod


In order to relate the structure of cardiac tissue to its passive electrical conductivity, we created a geometrical model of cardiac tissue on a cellular scale that encompassed myocytes, capillaries, and the interstitial space that surrounds them. A special mesh generator was developed for this model to create realistically shaped myocytes and interstitial space with a controlled degree of variation included in each model. In order to derive the effective conductivities, we used a finite element model to compute the currents flowing through the intracellular and extracellular space due to an externally applied electrical field. The product of these computations were the effective conductivity tensors for the intracellular and extracellular spaces. The simulations of bi-domain conductivities for healthy tissue resulted in an effective intracellular conductivity of 0.16S/m (longitudinal) and 0.005 S/m (transverse) and an effective extracellular conductivity of 0.21S/m (longitudinal) and 0.06 S/m (transverse). The latter values are within the range of measured values reported in literature. Furthermore, we anticipate that this method can be used to simulate pathological conditions for which measured data is far more sparse.

Mentioned in this Paper

Interstitial Space
Muscle Cells
Extracellular Space
Electric Conductivity
Heart Tissue
Cardiac Conduction System

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