Sharing and reusing cardiovascular anatomical models over the Web: a step towards the implementation of the virtual physiological human project

Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2010 Jun 28;368(1921):3039-56. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2010.0025.


Sharing and reusing anatomical models over the Web offers a significant opportunity to progress the investigation of cardiovascular diseases. However, the current sharing methodology suffers from the limitations of static model delivery (i.e. embedding static links to the models within Web pages) and of a disaggregated view of the model metadata produced by publications and cardiac simulations in isolation. In the context of euHeart--a research project targeting the description and representation of cardiovascular models for disease diagnosis and treatment purposes--we aim to overcome the above limitations with the introduction of euHeartDB, a Web-enabled database for anatomical models of the heart. The database implements a dynamic sharing methodology by managing data access and by tracing all applications. In addition to this, euHeartDB establishes a knowledge link with the physiome model repository by linking geometries to CellML models embedded in the simulation of cardiac behaviour. Furthermore, euHeartDB uses the exFormat--a preliminary version of the interoperable FieldML data format--to effectively promote reuse of anatomical models, and currently incorporates Continuum Mechanics, Image Analysis, Signal Processing and System Identification Graphical User Interface (CMGUI), a rendering engine, to provide three-dimensional graphical views of the models populating the database. Currently, euHeartDB stores 11 cardiac geometries developed within the euHeart project consortium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Databases, Factual
  • Heart / anatomy & histology*
  • Heart / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Internet*
  • Models, Anatomic*
  • Myocardium / cytology
  • Physiology / methods*
  • User-Computer Interface*