A method for automatically optimizing medical devices for treating heart failure: Designing polymeric injection patterns

Jonathan F. Wenk, Samuel T. Wall, Robert C. Peterson, Sam L. Helgerson, Hani N. Sabbah, Mike Burger, Nielen Stander, Mark B. Ratcliffe, Julius M. Guccione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Heart failure continues to present a significant medical and economic burden throughout the developed world. Novel treatments involving the injection of polymeric materials into the myocardium of the failing left ventricle (LV) are currently being developed, which may reduce elevated myofiber stresses during the cardiac cycle and act to retard the progression of heart failure. A finite element (FE) simulation-based method was developed in this study that can automatically optimize the injection pattern of the polymeric "inclusions" according to a specific objective function, using commercially available software tools. The FE preprocessor TRUEGRID® was used to create a parametric axisymmetric LV mesh matched to experimentally measured end-diastole and end-systole metrics from dogs with coronary microembolization-induced heart failure. Passive and active myocardial material properties were defined by a pseudo-elastic-strain energy function and a time-varying elastance model of active contraction, respectively, that were implemented in the FE software LS-DYNA. The companion optimization software LS-OPT was used to communicate directly with TRUEGRID® to determine FE model parameters, such as defining the injection pattern and inclusion characteristics. The optimization resulted in an intuitive optimal injection pattern (i.e., the one with the greatest number of inclusions) when the objective function was weighted to minimize mean end-diastolic and endsystolic myofiber stress and ignore LV stroke volume. In contrast, the optimization resulted in a nonintuitive optimal pattern (i.e., 3 inclusions longitudinally X 6 inclusions circumferentially) when both myofiber stress and stroke volume were incorporated into the objective function with different weights.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121011-1
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Cardiac mechanics
  • Finite element modeling
  • Numerical optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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