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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 238676, 9 pages
Research Article

Excitation-Contraction Coupling between Human Atrial Myocytes with Fibroblasts and Stretch Activated Channel Current: A Simulation Study

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China

Received 2 May 2013; Revised 13 July 2013; Accepted 13 July 2013

Academic Editor: Zhonghua Sun

Copyright © 2013 Heqing Zhan and Ling Xia. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Myocytes have been regarded as the main objectives in most cardiac modeling studies and attracted a lot of attention. Connective tissue cells, such as fibroblasts (Fbs), also play crucial role in cardiac function. This study proposed an integrated myocyte--Fb electromechanical model to investigate the effect of Fbs and stretch activated ion channel current () on cardiac electrical excitation conduction and mechanical contraction. At the cellular level, an active Fb model was coupled with a human atrial myocyte electrophysiological model (including ) and a mechanical model. At the tissue level, electrical excitation conduction was coupled with an elastic mechanical model, in which finite difference method (FDM) was used to solve the electrical excitation equations, while finite element method (FEM) was used for the mechanics equations. The simulation results showed that Fbs and coupling caused diverse effects on action potential morphology during repolarization, depolarized the resting membrane potential of the human atrial myocyte, slowed down wave propagation, and decreased strains in fibrotic tissue. This preliminary simulation study indicates that Fbs and have important implications for modulating cardiac electromechanical behavior and should be considered in future cardiac modeling studies.