Cardiac biomechanics play a significant role in the progression of structural heart diseases (SHDs). SHDs alter baseline myocardial biomechanics leading to single or bi-ventricular dysfunction. But therapies for left ventricle (LV) failure patients do not always work well for right ventricle (RV) failure patients. This is partly because the basic knowledge of baseline contrasts between the RV and LV biomechanics remains elusive with limited discrepant findings. The aim of the study was to investigate the multiscale contrasts between LV and RV biomechanics in large animal species. We hypothesize that the adult healthy LV and RV have distinct passive anisotropic biomechanical properties. Ex vivo biaxial tests were performed in fresh sheep hearts. Histology and immunohistochemistry were performed to measure tissue collagen. The experimental data were then fitted to a Fung type model and a structurally informed model, separately. We found that the LV was stiffer in the longitudinal (outflow tract) than circumferential direction, whereas the RV showed the opposite anisotropic behavior. The anisotropic parameter K from the Fung type model accurately captured contrasting anisotropic behaviors in the LV and RV. When comparing the elasticity in the same direction, the LV was stiffer than the RV longitudinally and the RV was stiffer than the LV circumferentially, suggesting different filling patterns of these ventricles during diastole. Results from the structurally informed model suggest potentially stiffer collagen fibers in the LV than RV, demanding further investigation. Finally, type III collagen content was correlated with the low-strain elastic moduli in both ventricles. In summary, our findings provide fundamental biomechanical differences between the chambers. These results provide valuable insights for guiding cardiac tissue engineering and regenerative studies to implement chamber-specific matrix mechanics, which is particularly critical for identifying biomechanical mechanisms of diseases or mechanical regulation of therapeutic responses. In addition, our results serve as a benchmark for image-based inverse modeling technologies to non-invasively estimate myocardial properties in the RV and LV.
- collagen isoform
- Fung exponential strain energy function
- structurally informed model
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering