A Multiaxial Constitutive Law for Mammalian Left Ventricular Myocardium in Steady-State Barium Contracture or Tetanus

[+] Author and Article Information
D. H. S. Lin

Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287

F. C. P. Yin

Department of Medicine, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287

J Biomech Eng 120(4), 504-517 (Aug 01, 1998) (14 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2798021 History: Received October 09, 1996; Revised January 22, 1998; Online October 30, 2007


The constitutive law of the material comprising any structure is essential for mechanical analysis since this law enables calculation of the stresses from the deformations and vice versa. To date, there is no constitutive law for actively contracting myocardial tissue. Using 2,3-butanedione monoxime to protect the myocardium from mechanical trauma, we subjected thin midwall slices of rabbit myocardium to multiaxial stretching first in the passive state and then during steady-state barium contracture or during tetani in ryanodine-loaded tissue. Assuming transverse isotropy in both the passive and active conditions, we used our previously described methods (Humphrey et al., 1990a) to obtain both passive and active constitutive laws. The major results of this study are: (1) This is the first multiaxial constitutive law for actively contracting mammalian myocardium. (2) The functional forms of the constitutive law for barium contracture and ryanodine-induced tetani are the same but differ from those in the passive state. Hence, one cannot simply substitute differing values for the coefficients of the passive law to describe the active tissue properties. (3) There are significant stresses developed in the cross-fiber direction (more than 40 percent of those in the fiber direction) that cannot be attributed to either deformation effects or nonparallel muscle fibers. These results provide the foundation for future mechanical analyses of the heart.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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