Passive Stress–Strain Measurements in the Stage-16 and Stage-18 Embryonic Chick Heart

[+] Author and Article Information
C. E. Miller, L. A. Taber

Department of Mechanical Engineering; Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642

M. A. Vanni

Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642

B. B. Keller

Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics; Department of Physiology, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Rochester, NY 14642

J Biomech Eng 119(4), 445-451 (Nov 01, 1997) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2798292 History: Received May 15, 1995; Revised October 09, 1996; Online October 30, 2007


The first stress–strain measurements on embryonic cardiovascular tissue are described here, obtained from cyclic uniaxial loading of the primitive Ventricle. An excised ventricular segment from Hamburger/Hamilton stage-16 or stage-18 chicks (2-1/2 and 3 days of a 21-day incubation period) was mounted longitudinally between two small wires in oxygenated Krebs–Henseleit cardioplegia solution. One wire was attached to an ultrasensitive force transducer and the other to a Huxley micromanipulator controlled by remote motor drive. A real-time video tracking system calculated three myocardial surface strains based on the positions of three surface markers while the heart was deformed in a triangular wave pattern. Force transducer output was filtered, digitally sampled, and stored with strains and time. Results were plotted as strain (longitudinal, circumferential, shear, and principal) versus time, stress versus time, and stress versus longitudinal strain. The stress–strain curves were nonlinear, even at low strain levels. The hysteresis loops were large; mean hysteresis energy as a proportion of total cycle stored strain energy was 36 percent (stage 16) and 41 percent (stage 18). We created a finite element model of the ventricle and fit the model behavior to the experimental behavior to determine parameters for a stage-18 pseudoelastic strain-energy function of exponential form. The calculated exponential parameter is significantly lower than that found in corresponding uniaxial studies of mature myocardium, possibly indicating the lower fiber content of the immature tissue. The results of this study are the first step in characterizing material properties for comparisons with later developmental stages and with impaired and altered myocardium. The long-term goal is to aid in identifying the biomechanical factors regulating growth and morphogenesis.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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