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Acta Biomater. 2015 Sep;24:172-92. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2015.06.031. Epub 2015 Jun 30.

Biomechanical properties and microstructure of human ventricular myocardium.

Author information

1
Institute of Biomechanics, Graz University of Technology, Austria. Electronic address: sommer@tugraz.at.
2
Institute of Biomechanics, Graz University of Technology, Austria.
3
Department of Surgery, Division of Transplantation Surgery, Medical University of Graz, Austria; Division of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Klinikum Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Austria.
4
Department of Cardiology, Medical University of Graz, Austria.
5
Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Graz, Austria.
6
Institute of Molecular Biosciences, BioTechMed-Graz, University of Graz, Austria.

Abstract

In the multidisciplinary field of heart research it is of utmost importance to identify accurate myocardium material properties for the description of phenomena such as mechano-electric feedback or heart wall thickening. A rationally-based material model is required to understand the highly nonlinear mechanics of complex structures such as the passive myocardium under different loading conditions. Unfortunately, to date there are no experimental data of human heart tissues available to estimate material parameters and to develop adequate material models. This study aimed to determine biaxial extension and triaxial shear properties and the underlying microstructure of the passive human ventricular myocardium. Using new state-of-the-art equipment, planar biaxial extension tests were performed to determine the biaxial extension properties of the passive ventricular human myocardium. Shear properties of the myocardium were examined by triaxial simple shear tests performed on small cubic specimens excised from an adjacent region of the biaxial extension specimens. The three-dimensional microstructure was investigated through second-harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy on optically cleared tissues, which emphasized the 3D orientation and dispersion of the myofibers and adjacent collagen fabrics. The results suggest that the passive human LV myocardium under quasi-static and dynamic multiaxial loadings is a nonlinear, anisotropic (orthotropic), viscoelastic and history-dependent soft biological material undergoing large deformations. Material properties of the tissue components along local microstructural axes drive the nonlinear and orthotropic features of the myocardium. SHG microscopy investigation revealed detailed information about the myocardial microstructure due to its high resolution. It enabled the identification of structural parameters such as the fiber and the sheet orientations and corresponding dispersions. With this complete set of material data, a sophisticated material model and associated material parameters can be defined for a better description of the biomechanical response of the ventricular myocardium in humans. Such a model will lead to more accurate computational simulations to better understand the fundamental underlying ventricular mechanics, a step needed in the improvement of medical treatment of heart diseases.

STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE:

Unfortunately, to date there are no experimental data of human heart tissues available for material parameter estimation and the development of adequate material models. In this manuscript novel biaxial tensile and shear test data at different specimen orientations are presented, which allowed to adequately capture the direction-dependent material response. With these complete sets of mechanical data, combined with their underlying microstructural data (also presented herein), sophisticated material models and associated material parameters can be defined for the description of the mechanical behavior of the ventricular myocardium in humans. Such models will lead to accurate computational simulations to better understand the fundamental underlying ventricular mechanics, a step needed in the improvement of medical treatment of heart diseases.

KEYWORDS:

Biaxial extension testing; Cardiac mechanics; Human ventricular myocardium; Microstructure; Optical clearing; Passive mechanical behavior; Second-harmonic generation; Triaxial shear testing

PMID:
26141152
DOI:
10.1016/j.actbio.2015.06.031
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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