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Simone Rossi, UNC-Chapel Hill – Colloquium
February 7, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: Mathematical and Computational Modeling of the Heart
Abstract: Cardiovascular diseases are a major health and economic concern both in the U.S. and worldwide. Although recent breakthroughs in medical treatments for heart disease have improved patient outcomes, a complete understanding of the heart physiology is still lacking. In fact, the complex interplay between many interconnected physical phenomena has been a major obstacle in understanding the nonlinear physiology of the cardiac muscle. The development of mathematical and computational models has been critical for the quantitative understanding of the structure and function of the heart. And thanks to the advancements in medical imaging and the increase of computational power, current mathematical models can be used to guide diagnosis and therapies. On the other hand, it is still challenging to create a model of the heart that captures the basic physiology of the heart. By overcoming these limitations we will be able to create models for personalized treatments.
In this talk, I will show how we can translate mathematical and computational models into patient care. Specifically, I will present an ongoing project that aims to characterize the risk of stroke in patients affected by atrial fibrillation. I will give an example of how some models struggle to capture the large systolic deformations of the left ventricle. I will show how linking the heart microstructure with the macroscopic organ function leads to a more accurate description of the ventricular contraction, overcoming one of the most crucial limitations of most models. Finally, I will show some new exciting areas of research that aim to understand the formation of congenital heart defects and the morphomechanics of cardiac development.