Efficient parameterization of cardiac action potential models using a genetic algorithm

TitleEfficient parameterization of cardiac action potential models using a genetic algorithm
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsCairns, Darby I., Fenton Flavio H., and Cherry E. M.
JournalChaos: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Nonlinear Science

Finding appropriate values for parameters in mathematical models of cardiac cells is a challenging task. Here, we show that it is possible to obtain good parameterizations in as little as 30–40 s when as many as 27 parameters are fit simultaneously using a genetic algorithm and two flexible phenomenological models of cardiac action potentials. We demonstrate how our implementation works by considering cases of “model recovery” in which we attempt to find parameter values that match model-derived action potential data from several cycle lengths. We assess performance by evaluating the parameter values obtained, action potentials at fit and non-fit cycle lengths, and bifurcation plots for fidelity to the truth as well as consistency across different runs of the algorithm. We also fit the models to action potentials recorded experimentally using microelectrodes and analyze performance. We find that our implementation can efficiently obtain model parameterizations that are in good agreement with the dynamics exhibited by the underlying systems that are included in the fitting process. However, the parameter values obtained in good parameterizations can exhibit a significant amount of variability, raising issues of parameter identifiability and sensitivity. Along similar lines, we also find that the two models differ in terms of the ease of obtaining parameterizations that reproduce model dynamics accurately, most likely reflecting different levels of parameter identifiability for the two models.