A space-fractional Monodomain model for cardiac electrophysiology combining anisotropy and heterogeneity on realistic geometries
Classical models of electrophysiology do not typically account for the effects of high structural heterogeneity in the spatio-temporal description of excitation waves propagation. We consider a modification of the Monodomain model obtained by replacing the diffusive term of the classical formulation with a fractional power of the operator, defined in the spectral sense. The resulting nonlocal model describes different levels of tissue heterogeneity as the fractional exponent is varied. The numerical method for the solution of the fractional Monodomain relies on an integral representation of the nonlocal operator combined with a finite element discretisation in space, allowing to handle in a natural way bounded domains in more than one spatial dimension. Numerical tests in two spatial dimensions illustrate the features of the model. Activation times, action potential duration and its dispersion throughout the domain are studied as a function of the fractional parameter: the expected peculiar behaviour driven by tissue heterogeneities is recovered.