Closed-Loop Multiscale Computational Model of Human Blood Circulation. Applications to Ballistocardiography

Jeremy Rabineau, Antoine Nonclercq, Tim Leiner, Philippe van de Borne, Pierre-Francois Migeotte, Benoit Haut

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Cardiac mechanical activity leads to periodic changes in the distribution of blood throughout the body, which causes micro-oscillations of the body's center of mass and can be measured by ballistocardiography (BCG). However, many of the BCG findings are based on parameters whose origins are poorly understood. Here, we generate simulated multidimensional BCG signals based on a more exhaustive and accurate computational model of blood circulation than previous attempts. This model consists in a closed loop 0D-1D multiscale representation of the human blood circulation. The 0D elements include the cardiac chambers, cardiac valves, arterioles, capillaries, venules, and veins, while the 1D elements include 55 systemic and 57 pulmonary arteries. The simulated multidimensional BCG signal is computed based on the distribution of blood in the different compartments and their anatomical position given by whole-body magnetic resonance angiography on a healthy young subject. We use this model to analyze the elements affecting the BCG signal on its different axes, allowing a better interpretation of clinical records. We also evaluate the impact of filtering and healthy aging on the BCG signal. The results offer a better view of the physiological meaning of BCG, as compared to previous models considering mainly the contribution of the aorta and focusing on longitudinal acceleration BCG. The shape of experimental BCG signals can be reproduced, and their amplitudes are in the range of experimental records. The contributions of the cardiac chambers and the pulmonary circulation are non-negligible, especially on the lateral and transversal components of the velocity BCG signal. The shapes and amplitudes of the BCG waveforms are changing with age, and we propose a scaling law to estimate the pulse wave velocity based on the time intervals between the peaks of the acceleration BCG signal. We also suggest new formulas to estimate the stroke volume and its changes based on the BCG signal expressed in terms of acceleration and kinetic energy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number734311
Pages (from-to)1-28
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2021


  • aging
  • ballistocardiography
  • blood circulation
  • computational model
  • hemodynamics
  • pulse wave velocity
  • stroke volume
  • wearable cardiac monitoring


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