Biomechanical Properties and Microstructure of Heart Chambers: A Paired Comparison Study in an Ovine Model
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Mechanical properties of the cardiac tissue play an important role in normal heart function. The goal of this study was to determine the passive mechanical properties of all heart chambers through a paired comparison study in an ovine model. Ovine heart was used due its physiological and anatomical similarities to human heart. A total of 189 specimens from anterior and posterior portions of the left and right ventricles, atria, and appendages underwent biaxial mechanical testing. A Fung-type strain energy function was used to fit the experimental data. Tissue behavior was quantified based on the magnitude of strain energy, as indicator of tissue stiffness, at equibiaxial strains of 0.10, 0.15, and 0.20. Statistical analysis revealed no significant difference in strain energy storage between anterior and posterior portions of each chamber, except for the right ventricle where strain energy storage in the posterior specimens were higher than the anterior specimens. Additionally, all chambers from the left side of the heart had significantly higher strain energy storage than the corresponding chambers on the right side. Furthermore, the highest to lowest stored strain energy were associated with ventricles, appendages, and atria, respectively. Microstructure of tissue specimens from different chambers was also compared using histology.
KeywordsCardiac mechanics Passive mechanical behavior Biaxial testing Microstructure Ventricle Atria Atrial appendage
Left atrial appendage
Right atrial appendage