Rioux, Myriam
Numerical computations of action potentials for the heart-torso coupling problem.
Directeurs: Y. Bourgault (U. Ottawa)

The work developed in this thesis focusses on the electrical activity of the heart, from the modeling of the action potential originating from cardiac cells and propagating through the heart, as well as its electrical manifestation at the body surface. The study is divided in two main parts: modeling the action potential, and numerical simulations. For modeling the action potential a dimensional and asymptotic analysis is done. The key advance in this part of the work is that this analysis gives the steps to reliably control the action potential. It allows predicting the time/space scales and speed of any action potential that is to say the shape of the action potential and its propagation. This can be done as the explicit relations on all the physiological constants are defined precisely. This method facilitates the integrative modeling of a complete human heart with tissue-specific ionic models. It even proves that using a single model for the cardiac action potential is enough in many situations. For efficient numerical simulations, a numerical method for solving the heart-torso coupling problem is explored according to a level set description of the domains. This is done in the perspective of using directly medical images for building computational domains. A finite element method is then developed to manage meshes not adapted to internal interfaces. Finally, an anisotropic adaptive remeshing methods for unstructured finite element meshes is used to efficiently capture propagating action potentials within complex, realistic two dimensional geometries.