Integrated Heart Model

Aims and Objectives

The human heart is the central driver of the cardiovascular system. It is triggered by electrical pulses and its muscle cells contract and relax in a continuous cycle pumping blood to the pulmonary and the systemic circulation. Fully understanding and modeling the heart is a highly complex and interdisciplinary endeavor. Mathematical models of the heart enable a quantitative description of physiological and patho-physiological correlations of the heart and the cardiovascular circulation. Mathematical models connect experience from empirical studies with physiological, bio-chemical, physical and mathematical knowledge.

To date various mathematical models and numerical frameworks for the simulation of the different aspects of the heart function are under ongoing development. The electrodynamics can be described by systems of ordinary differential equations (ODEs). Partial differential equations (PDEs) can be used to model the propagation of the depolarization wave and the movement of the heart muscle. Methods of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can simulate the flow of blood in the myocardium and through the heart valves.

Yet the profound coupling of the different heart model aspects remains a scientific challenge, especially for the application to patient-specific scenarios. The project aims at interfacing the model components to a holistic simulation of the human heart. In using realistic data, both input and model parameters naturally bear uncertainties. The project aims at taking these uncertainties into account by methods of Uncertainty Quantification (UQ) giving rise to the reliability of the simulation outcomes and possibly reducing the uncertainty.

Research Topics

  • Patient-specific modeling of the heart regarding the electro-physiology, biomechanics and blood circulation
  • Coupling of the different heart simulation components
  • Increasing computational efficiency by model reduction and hardware-aware computing
  • Quantification of uncertainties within a patient-specific simulation
  • Translation of the innovative developments to clinical practice


The project is founded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Science of Germany BMBF.


People from EMCL


  • Dr. Jonas Kratzke


  • J. Kratzke: A probability measure for aortic vessel wall overload based on fluid-structure interaction simulations,
    , Glasgow, UK, 11.-15.06.2018
  • J. Kratzke: Fluid-Structure Interaction with Uncertainty in Medical Engineering,
    SIAM Conference on Uncertainty Quantification (UQ18)
    , Los Angeles, USA, 16.04.2018
  • J. Kratzke: HPC-based uncertainty quantification for fluid-structure coupling in medical engineering,
    bwHPC Symposium 2017
    , T├╝bingen, 04.10.2017



      • In preparation