Application of simplified implicit Euler method for electrophysiological models

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A simplified implicit Euler method was analyzed as an alternative to the explicit Euler method, which is a commonly used method in numerical modeling in electrophysiology. The majority of electrophysiological models are quite stiff, since the dynamics they describe includes a wide spectrum of time scales: a fast depolarization, that lasts milliseconds, precedes a considerably slow repolarization, with both being the fractions of the action potential observed in excitable cells. In this work we estimate stiffness by a formula that does not require calculation of eigenvalues of the Jacobian matrix of the studied ODEs. The efficiency of the numerical methods was compared on the case of typical representatives of detailed and conceptual type models of excitable cells: Hodgkin–Huxley model of a neuron and Aliev–Panfilov model of a cardiomyocyte. The comparison of the efficiency of the numerical methods was carried out via norms that were widely used in biomedical applications. The stiffness ratio’s impact on the speedup of simplified implicit method was studied: a real gain in speed was obtained for the Hodgkin–Huxley model. The benefits of the usage of simple and high-order methods for electrophysiological models are discussed along with the discussion of one method’s stability issues. The reasons for using simplified instead of high-order methods during practical simulations were discussed in the corresponding section. We calculated higher order derivatives of the solutions of Hodgkin-Huxley model with various stiffness ratios; their maximum absolute values appeared to be quite large. A numerical method’s approximation constant’s formula contains the latter and hence ruins the effect of the other term (a small factor which depends on the order of approximation). This leads to the large value of global error. We committed a qualitative stability analysis of the explicit Euler method and were able to estimate the model’s parameters influence on the border of the region of absolute stability. The latter is used when setting the value of the timestep for simulations a priori.

Keywords: electrophysiology, ionic models, conceptual models, stiff systems, numerical methods
Citation in English: Karpaev A.A., Aliev R.R. Application of simplified implicit Euler method for electrophysiological models // Computer Research and Modeling, 2020, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 845-864
Citation in English: Karpaev A.A., Aliev R.R. Application of simplified implicit Euler method for electrophysiological models // Computer Research and Modeling, 2020, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 845-864
DOI: 10.20537/2076-7633-2020-12-4-845-864

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