Compressibility and Anisotropy of the Ventricular Myocardium: Experimental Analysis and Microstructural Modelling

[+] Author and Article Information
Eoin McEvoy

Department of Biomedical Engineering, National University of Ireland Galway

Gerhard A. Holzapfel

Institute of Biomechanics, Graz University of Technology, and Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway

Patrick McGarry

Department of Biomedical Engineering, National University of Ireland Galway

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039947 History: Received December 15, 2017; Revised April 02, 2018


While the anisotropic behaviour of the complex composite myocardial tissue has been well characterized in recent years, the compressibility of the tissue has not been rigorously investigated to date. In the first part of this study we present experimental evidence that passive excised porcine myocardium exhibits volume change. Under tensile loading of a cylindrical specimen, a volume change of 4.1±1.95% is observed at a peak stretch of 1.3. Confined compression experiments also demonstrate significant volume change in the tissue (loading applied up to a volumetric strain of 10%). In order to simulate the multi-axial passive behaviour of the myocardium a nonlinear volumetric hyperelastic component is combined with the well-established Holzapfel-Ogden anisotropic hyperelastic component for myocardium fibres. This framework is shown to describe the experimentally observed behaviour of porcine and human tissues under shear and biaxial loading conditions. In the second part of the study a representative volumetric element (RVE) of myocardium tissue is constructed to parse the contribution of the tissue vasculature to observed volume change under confined compression loading. Simulations of the myocardium microstructure suggest that the vasculature cannot fully account for the experimentally measured volume change. Additionally, the RVE is subjected to six modes of shear loading to investigate the influence of micro-scale fibre alignment and dispersion on tissue-scale mechanical behaviour.

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