Monodomain vs Bidomain

When modeling cardiac tissue, there are two dominant approaches: bidomain, in which both the intra- and extracellular spaces of the tissue are represented, and monodomain, in which only the intracellular space is represented. The bidomain approach is essential when the effects of stimuli, bath, or extracellular conductivities need to be considered. However, when the primary interest has to do only with wave propagation, monodomain is often sufficient.

Given bidomain’s greater realism, one might think that it should always be used. However, it comes with a much greater computational cost; bidomain simuluations are much slower than otherwise-identical monodomain simulations. Therefore, it’s important when setting up cardiac electrophysiology simulations to carefully consider which approach will work best.

Our simulator and web interface give you the choice. By simply checking a box, you can switch your simulation from monodomain to bidomain and back. You can also compromise by setting an option that will primarily use monodomain, but will use bidomain every few steps. This has minimal effects on the outcome of the simulation, but can reduce simulation time noticeably when compared with a full bidomain run. We’d be happy to discuss your simulation problem with you, and help you determine which type of cardiac simulation is appropriate for solving it. You can find our contact information here.

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