Cardiovascular (CV) simulations have become a crucial component of fundamental research in surgical planning, device design, diagnosis, and disease mechanisms. The project team has previously developed SimVascular (www.simvascular.org), which is currently the only open source software package providing a complete pipeline from medical image data segmentation to patient specific blood flow simulation and analysis in arteries and veins. The SimCardio open source project will extend and enhance the functionality of SimVascular to the realm of heart modeling, providing the first fully integrated computer model of cardiac physiology and function. This will help basic science and medical researchers perform computer modeling in numerous diseases affecting heart function in children and adults. This computer modeling software will enable researchers to build models of the heart and vascular anatomy directly from medical imaging data, which can be used for personalized treatment planning and medical device design, ultimately leading to new treatments for patients with cardiovascular disease.
The SimCardio project will create a unique open source software package for multi-physics cardiac modeling and simulations. SimCardio will include a new multi-physics finite element solver with capabilities for large-deformation fluid-structure interaction (FSI) to capture ventricular contraction and heart valve dynamics, non-linear and visco-elastic material models, cardiac mechanics models of active heart contraction, and electrophysiology. This will be facilitated by sustainable software infrastructure bridging the cardiovascular fluid and solid mechanics communities. The project will provide a new user-interface for high-throughput construction of patient-specific cardiac and vascular models. SimCardio will broaden the applicability of SimVascular to problems including heart valves, heart failure, cardiomyopathy, aortic dissection, structural congenital heart defects and medical devices. To facilitate adoption, the project will publicly provide accompanying educational and training materials, and maintain a sustainable software ecosystem to increase the user community and ensure continued availability and evolution.