Development of a novel low-order model for atrial function and a study of atrial mechano-electric feedback

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Numerical models of the cardiovascular system have largely focused on the function of the ventricles, with atrial function often neglected. Furthermore, the time-varying elastance method that prescribes the pressure–volume relationship rather than calculating it consistently is frequently used for the ventricles and atrium. This method has yet to be validated however, so its applicability for cardiac modelling is frequently questioned. To overcome this challenge, we propose a synergistic model of left atrium (LA) and left ventricle (LV) by self-consistently integrating various feedback mechanisms among the electro-mechanical and chemical functions of the micro-scale myofiber, the macro-scale dynamics of the LA and LV, the atrioventricular node (AV), and
circulation. The model is tested and shown to reproduce the essential features of the atrium cycling, such as the characteristic figure of eight pressure–volume loops. Our model is further developed to investigate the effect of dysfunctions of the mechanical-electric feedback (MEF) in the atrium. Our model not only successfully reproduces key experimental MEF observations such as prolonged action-potential and increases in action-potential magnitude induced by atrial stretch but also shows how MEF and arrhythmia of the atrium lead to a degradation of cardiac output and pumping power with significant consequences. In particular, MEF reproduces arrhythmia such as ectopic and erratic cycling, missed heart beats and restricted function.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106697
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
Early online date17 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Multi-scale model
  • Atrium
  • Cardiac cycle
  • Mechano-electric feedback
  • Lumped-parameter model


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