Visco-Elasticity of Passive Cardiac Muscle

[+] Author and Article Information
J. G. Pinto

Department of Mechanical Engineering, San Diego State University, San Diego, Calif. 92182

P. J. Patitucci

Department of Applied Mechanics and Engineering Sciences (AMES) — Bioengineering, The University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif. 92093

J Biomech Eng 102(1), 57-61 (Feb 01, 1980) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138199 History: Received October 30, 1978; Revised August 13, 1979; Online June 15, 2009


A quantitative mechanical description of the heart organ requires information on the mechanical behavior of its muscle in reasonable unity and completeness. In this respect, a fundamental constitutive law for soft biological tissues was proposed by Fung in 1972. This article presents evidence to show that Fung’s law is a useful law to describe the mechanical behavior of heart muscle in the unstimulated (diastolic) state with sufficient generality. A visco-elastic relaxation phenomenon is studied in the isolated cardiac muscle of cat and rabbit with the purpose of constructing a mathematical model for relaxation. Experimental results show that passive relaxation behavior of heart muscle can be adequately described by a generalized standard linear solid with a continuous distribution of relaxation times. The form of the relaxation function devised permits the application of linear visco-elasticity theory to the nonlinear cardiac muscle. The relaxation model is used to predict the force-length (stress-strain) behavior of papillary muscle with reasonable accuracy.

Copyright © 1980 by ASME
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