openCARP: An Open Sustainable Framework for in-silico Cardiac Electrophysiology Research

Jorge Sánchez1, Mark Nothstein2, Aurel Neic3, Yung-Lin Huang4, Anton J. Prassl5, Jochen Klar6, Robert Ulrich2, Felix Bach2, Philipp Zschumme2, Michael Selzer2, Gernot Plank5, Edward Vigmond7, Gunnar Seemann8, Axel Loewe2
1Institue of Biomedical Engineering, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 2Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), 3NumeriCor GmbH, 4Universitäts-Herzzentrum Freiburg, 5Medical University of Graz, Gottfried Schatz Research Center, Division of Biophysics, 6Independent researcher, 7LIRYC Electrophysiology and Heart Modeling Institute, Fondation Bordeaux Univ, 8University Heart Center Freiburg • Bad Krozingen


Introduction: Multi-scale computational models of cardiac electrophysiology are used to investigate complex phenomena such as cardiac arrhythmias, its therapies and the testing of drugs or medical devices. While a couple of software solutions exist, none fully meets the needs of the community. In particular, newcomers to the field often have to go through a very steep learning curve which could be facilitated by dedicated user interfaces, documentation, and training material.

Outcome: openCARP is an open cardiac electrophysiology simulator, released to the community to advance the computational cardiology field by making state-of-the-art simulations accessible. It aims to achieve this by supporting self-driven learning. To this end, an online platform is available containing educational video tutorials, user and developer-oriented documentation, detailed examples, and a question-and-answer system. The software is written in C++. We provide binary packages, a Docker container, and a CMake-based compilation workflow, making the installation process simple. The software can fully scale from desktop to high-performance computers. Nightly tests are run to ensure the consistency of the simulator based on predefined reference solutions, keeping a high standard of quality for all its components. openCARP interoperates with different input/output standard data formats. Additionally, sustainability is achieved through automated continuous integration to generate not only software packages, but also documentation and content for the community platform. Furthermore, carputils provides a user-friendly environment to create complex, multi-scale simulations that are shareable and reproducible.

Conclusion: In conclusion, openCARP is a tailored software solution for the scientific community in the cardiac electrophysiology field and contributes to increasing use and reproducibility of in-silico experiments.