Numerical modeling of cardiac electrophysiology at the cellular scale

MICROCARD is a European research project to build software that can simulate cardiac electrophysiology using whole-heart models with sub-cellular resolution, on future exascale supercomputers. It is funded by EuroHPC call Towards Extreme Scale Technologies and Applications.

Summary

Cardiovascular diseases are the most frequent cause of death worldwide and half of these deaths are due to cardiac arrhythmia, disorders of the heart's electrical synchronization system. Computer models are essential to understand the behaviour of this complex system and its diseases. These models are already very sophisticated and widely used, but currently they are not powerful enough to take the heart's (2 billion!) individual cells into account. They must therefore assume that hundreds of cells are doing approximately the same thing. Due to this limitation, current models cannot reproduce the events in aging and structurally diseased hearts, in which reduced electrical coupling leads to large differences in behaviour between neigbouring cells, with possibly fatal consequences.

If we want to model the heart cell by cell, we face a mathematical problem that is 10,000 times larger, and also harder to solve. We will need larger supercomputers than those that exist today, and a lot of inventiveness to solve our problem efficiently on these future machines.

The purpose of the MICROCARD project is to develop software that can solve this problem on future exascale supercomputers. We will develop algorithms that are tailored to the specific mathematical problem, to the size of the computations, and to the particular design of these future computers, which will probably owe most of their compute power to ultra-parallel computing elements such as Graphics Processing Units. We will not content ourselves with a "proof of concept", but will use the code that we develop to solve real-life problems in cardiology. Therefore the project includes computer experts, mathematicians, and biomedical engineers, and collaborates with cardiologists and physiologists.

Funding

This project has received funding from the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking EuroHPC (JU) under grant agreement No 955495. The JU receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme and France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Norway, Switzerland.

EuroHPC projects are for one half funded by the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking, and for the other half by the national funding agencies of the project partners.

Logos of the funding organizations: ANR in France,
      The Research Council of Norway, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany,
      EuroHPC, the European Union, the Ministerio dello sviluppo economico in Italy, the Swiss
      Federation, and the Federale Forschungsgemeinschaft in Austria.

LinkedIn: @project MICROCARD

Twitter: @P_Microcard

Latest news

Aslak Tveito to step down

Aslak Tveito, CEO of our partner Simula, will step down from his position in January 2023 to spend more time on research.

Simone Pezzuto to Trento

The next MICROCARD member to move is Simone Pezzuto, who left USI to become an assistant professor at Università di Trento. He too will maintain a relationship with USI that allows him to stay with the project.

Amina Guermouche to Bordeaux INP

Amina Guermouche, until recently a research engineer at Inria, won a position as maître de conférences (associate professor) at the engineering school Bordeaux INP. She will continue working part-time on the MICROCARD project.


more news

Agenda

Monday 28 November

15:30 WP1 meeting (core partners)

Tuesday 29 November

14:30 WP4+5 meeting

Wednesday 7 December

11:00 WP3 meeting

15:00 Implementation taskforce meeting

Thursday 8 December

16:00 Executive Board meeting


full agenda

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