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Compr Physiol. 2015 Sep 20;5(4):1623-44. doi: 10.1002/cphy.c140070.

Biomechanics of Cardiac Function.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA.
Biomedical Engineering Program, UTSA-UTHSCSA, San Antonio, Texas, USA.


The heart pumps blood to maintain circulation and ensure the delivery of oxygenated blood to all the organs of the body. Mechanics play a critical role in governing and regulating heart function under both normal and pathological conditions. Biological processes and mechanical stress are coupled together in regulating myocyte function and extracellular matrix structure thus controlling heart function. Here, we offer a brief introduction to the biomechanics of left ventricular function and then summarize recent progress in the study of the effects of mechanical stress on ventricular wall remodeling and cardiac function as well as the effects of wall mechanical properties on cardiac function in normal and dysfunctional hearts. Various mechanical models to determine wall stress and cardiac function in normal and diseased hearts with both systolic and diastolic dysfunction are discussed. The results of these studies have enhanced our understanding of the biomechanical mechanism in the development and remodeling of normal and dysfunctional hearts. Biomechanics provide a tool to understand the mechanism of left ventricular remodeling in diastolic and systolic dysfunction and guidance in designing and developing new treatments.

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