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Tuesday 4th June 2019

Isaac Newton Institute

United Kingdom


The function of the heart can be simulated using multi-scale computational models: ranging from representations of electrical activation and force generation in a single cell; up to anatomical models of an individual patient’s whole heart and cardiovascular system.

There are a range of industrial and clinical applications of cardiac simulations that have begun to be tested and used in the last few years including assessing the safety of new drugs and providing patient-specific guidance for clinical procedures. A major obstacle to progress is that the present generation of cardiac simulations do not account fully for all the uncertainties and variabilities that we know to be present. Our uncertainties include geometry from incomplete medical images, and properties taken from the noisy data that are typically available. These lead to uncertainties around the inputs, meshes, parameters, and even equations/structure, that we use within the models. Variability between individual cells, tissues, organs and the bodies that they lie within are also considerable and accounting for this may be crucial in predicting clinical outcomes.

Aims and Objectives

This knowledge exchange event by the Newton Gateway to Mathematics took place as part of the INI Research Programme on the Fickle Heart – within the workshop on Uncertainty Quantification for Cardiovascular Simulations. This particular event opened up the discussion to a wider audience, including those working in biotechnology, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and the public sector.

The introductory talks highlighted the key issues raised during the Research Programme and suggest some next steps.  A number of end-user talks from industry and the public sector described how organisations manage the uncertainty of modelling and the challenges they face.

The main aims of the day were to:

  • Discuss the latest developments in considering uncertainty and variability in cardiac simulation.

  • Understand challenges faced by industry and the healthcare sector in their applications of cardiac modelling.

  • Form an interdisciplinary community of researchers interested in the mathematics of uncertainty quantification, the creation and solution of biophysical models of the heart and cardiovascular system, and their translation into industrial and clinical applications.


There was a poster exhibition running alongside the workshop and during the drinks reception. 

Registration and Venue

A registration fee was charged to cover direct costs of attendance at this event. This was £25 for academic and public sector attendees and £50 for industrial attendees. 

There was no fee for registered participants of the INI Programme on The Fickle Heart.

The workshop took place at the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences in Cambridge. Please see the Isaac Newton Institute website for further information about the venue.