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A comprehensive multiscale model of the uterine muscle electrical activity would permit understanding the important link between the genesis and evolution of the action potential at the cell level and the process leading to labor. Understanding this link can open the way to more effective tools for the prediction of labor and prevention of preterm delivery. A first step toward the realization of such a model is presented here. By using as starting point a previously published model of the generation of the uterine muscle action potential at the cell level, a significant reduction of the model complexity is here achieved in order to simulate 2-D propagation of the cellular activity at the uterine tissue level, for tissue strips of arbitrary dimension. From the obtained dynamic behavior of the electrical activity simulated at the tissue level, the use of a previously validated volume conductor model at the organ level permits us to simulate the electrohysterogram as recorded on the abdominal surface by an electrode array. Qualitative evaluation of the model at the cell level and at the organ level confirms the potential of the proposed multiscale approach for further refinement and extension aiming at clinical application.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2011