Computational Modeling of Healthy Myocardium in Diastole

Amir Nikou, Shauna M. Dorsey, Jeremy R. McGarvey, Joseph H. Gorman, Jason A. Burdick, James J. Pilla, Robert C. Gorman, Jonathan F. Wenk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


In order to better understand the mechanics of the heart and its disorders, engineers increasingly make use of the finite element method (FEM) to investigate healthy and diseased cardiac tissue. However, FEM is only as good as the underlying constitutive model, which remains a major challenge to the biomechanics community. In this study, a recently developed structurally based constitutive model was implemented to model healthy left ventricular myocardium during passive diastolic filling. This model takes into account the orthotropic response of the heart under loading. In-vivo strains were measured from magnetic resonance images (MRI) of porcine hearts, along with synchronous catheterization pressure data, and used for parameter identification of the passive constitutive model. Optimization was performed by minimizing the difference between MRI measured and FE predicted strains and cavity volumes. A similar approach was followed for the parameter identification of a widely used phenomenological constitutive law, which is based on a transversely isotropic material response. Results indicate that the parameter identification with the structurally based constitutive law is more sensitive to the assigned fiber architecture and the fit between the measured and predicted strains is improved with more realistic sheet angles. In addition, the structurally based model is capable of generating a more physiological end-diastolic pressure–volume relationship in the ventricle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)980-992
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Biomedical Engineering Society.


  • Constitutive modeling
  • Finite element method
  • Left ventricle
  • MRI
  • Optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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