Journal article

Solvability analysis and numerical approximation of linearized cardiac electromechanics

This paper is concerned with the mathematical analysis of a coupled elliptic–parabolic system modeling the interaction between the propagation of electric potential and subsequent deformation of the cardiac tissue. The problem consists in a reaction–diffusion system governing the dynamics of ionic quantities, intra- and extra-cellular potentials, and the linearized elasticity equations are adopted to describe the motion of an incompressible material. The coupling between muscle contraction, biochemical reactions and electric activity is introduced with a so-called active strain decomposition framework, where the material gradient of deformation is split into an active (electrophysiology-dependent) part and an elastic (passive) one. Under the assumption of linearized elastic behavior and a truncation of the updated nonlinear diffusivities, we prove existence of weak solutions to the underlying coupled reaction–diffusion system and uniqueness of regular solutions. The proof of existence is based on a combination of parabolic regularization, the Faedo–Galerkin method, and the monotonicity-compactness method of Lions. A finite element formulation is also introduced, for which we establish existence of discrete solutions and show convergence to a weak solution of the original problem. We close with a numerical example illustrating the convergence of the method and some features of the model.


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