Cardiac simulation can be useful on its own, but it’s especially powerful when paired with animal or tissue models. A simulation model can be set up that is analogous to the experimental model, validated against the experimental model, and used to infer information about the experiment that would be impossible to obtain directly.
For example, using an appropriate ion channel model, it’s possible to investigate individual ionic currents underlying a phenomenon observed in the experiment. Additionally, one can extend an experiment by testing things that are not possible experimentally in the simulation model. For instance, if a shock is applied in the experiment, but one wants to test what would happen if no shock were applied, one could run the shock in the experiment, and run analogous simulations both with and without the shock.
Finally, simulation experiments are not subject to the resolution and field-of-view limitations of electrode or optical transmembrane potential mapping. Therefore, if an interesting phenomenon is observed on the surface of the heart, or is suspected to be occurring within the wall of the heart based on experimental observations, simulations can be used to ‘zoom in’ or examine the depths of the tissue, respectively.
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