Your heart, Our mission !

More than 10 years ago I had my first lesson on the form and function of the human heart. I still remember my teacher saying that the heart works like a pump and has nothing to do with love and all that stuff ūüėā

Our heart is made up of 4 chambers : the Right Atrium (RA), the Right Ventricle(RV), the Left Atrium(LA) and the Left Ventricle (LV).

From the right atrium, the deoxygenated blood passes into the ventricle through the open tricuspid valve, before being propelled into the pulmonary artery, via the pulmonary valve, towards the lungs to load it with oxygen.

The left heart is made up of the left atrium and the left ventricle. In between is the mitral valve. The left atrium receives  oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and pumps it to the left ventricle through the open mitral valve. It is then ejected through the ventricle into the aorta, the main artery that arises from the LV, to the rest of the body.

Once the body uses all the oxygen from the blood it is pumped back into the right side of the heart and the process will continue.

The human heart is an incredible organ. Let’s say that your heart plays a vital role in how your body works and love is the fuel for the soul.

Electrical signals are regularly sent to the heart telling him when to pump.

Heart rhythm is the result of the generation of electrical impulses, and it’s controlled by the natural pacemaker of the heart called the sinoatrial node. Impulses are then transmitted to the atria and down to the ventricles 

Take a moment and place your hand over your heart. Can you feel it beating?

When the heart beats the Right and Left Atria contract and pump blood to the Right and Left Ventricles. Then the Ventricles contract together to drive the blood out of the heart.

It happens, unfortunately, that heart rhythm problems occur, causing your heart to beat too fast, too slow or irregularly. ¬†An arrhythmia is an abnormality of the heart’s rhythm.¬†

As I am an early stage researcher for the EU project PersonalizeAF, I will mainly focus my research work on the atrial fibrillation, which is the most common type of arrhythmia affecting over 6 million Europeans annually, during which the two upper chambers quiver and ventricles don’t receive regular impulses and contract out of rhythm.

You may be wondering how mathematicians and engineers can contribute to the treatment of heart problems? 

In order to restore a normal heart rhythm, Afib ablation procedure¬† is commonly used when medication doesn’t work and consists of isolating trigger areas from the rest of the heart.¬†

This makes the matter of identifying a target for an effective ablation particularly important to better guide the ablation surgery. In fact, we hypothesis that anatomical triggers of Atrial Fibrillation can be identified using noninvasive ElectroCardioGraphic Imaging.

In the next few posts we will talk more about the numerical methods we will be using in order to assess the role of anatomical structures in Atrial Fibrillation and identify its triggers. 

This post was a quick overview to the anatomy and the heart function to introduce my . 

You can follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter for regural posts about our work in PersonalizeAF. 

Narimanz, ESR10.