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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2002 Dec;283(6):H2650-9.

Shear properties of passive ventricular myocardium.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


We examined the shear properties of passive ventricular myocardium in six pig hearts. Samples (3 x 3 x 3 mm) were cut from adjacent regions of the lateral left ventricular midwall, with sides aligned with the principal material axes. Four cycles of sinusoidal simple shear (maximum shear displacements of 0.1-0.5) were applied separately to each specimen in two orthogonal directions. Resulting forces along the three axes were measured. Three specimens from each heart were tested in different orientations to cover all six modes of simple shear deformation. Passive myocardium has nonlinear viscoelastic shear properties with reproducible, directionally dependent softening as strain is increased. Shear properties were clearly anisotropic with respect to the three principal material directions: passive ventricular myocardium is least resistant to simple shear displacements imposed in the plane of the myocardial layers and most resistant to shear deformations that produce extension of the myocyte axis. Comparison of results for the six different shear modes suggests that simple shear deformation is resisted by elastic elements aligned with the microstructural axes of the tissue.

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