A novel constitutive model for passive right ventricular myocardium: evidence for myofiber–collagen fiber mechanical coupling

Reza Avazmohammadi, Michael R. Hill, Marc A. Simon, Will Zhang, Michael S. Sacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


The function of right ventricle (RV) is recognized to play a key role in the development of many cardiopulmonary disorders, such as pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Given the strong link between tissue structure and mechanical behavior, there remains a need for a myocardial constitutive model that accurately accounts for right ventricular myocardium architecture. Moreover, most available myocardial constitutive models approach myocardium at the length scale of mean fiber orientation and do not explicitly account for different fibrous constituents and possible interactions among them. In the present work, we developed a fiber-level constitutive model for the passive mechanical behavior of the right ventricular free wall (RVFW). The model explicitly separates the mechanical contributions of myofiber and collagen fiber ensembles, and accounts for the mechanical interactions between them. To obtain model parameters for the healthy passive RVFW, the model was informed by transmural orientation distribution measurements of myo- and collagen fibers and was fit to the mechanical testing data, where both sets of data were obtained from recent experimental studies on non-contractile, but viable, murine RVFW specimens. Results supported the hypothesis that in the low-strain regime, the behavior of the RVFW is governed by myofiber response alone, which does not demonstrate any coupling between different myofiber ensembles. At higher strains, the collagen fibers and their interactions with myofibers begin to gradually contribute and dominate the behavior as recruitment proceeds. Due to the use of viable myocardial tissue, the contribution of myofibers was significant at all strains with the predicted tensile modulus of ∼ 32 kPa. This was in contrast to earlier reports (Horowitz et al. 1988) where the contribution of myofibers was found to be insignificant. Also, we found that the interaction between myo- and collagen fibers was greatest under equibiaxial strain, with its contribution to the total stress not exceeding 20 %. The present model can be applied to organ-level computational models of right ventricular dysfunction for efficient diagnosis and evaluation of pulmonary hypertension disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-581
Number of pages21
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering


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