Luca Barbarotta, Simone Rossi, Luca Dedè, Alfio Quarteroni

Int J Numer Meth Biomed Engng Volume 34, Issue 12, December 2018

Open Access:


Models for cardiac mechanics require an activation mechanism properly representing the stress-strain relations in the contracting myocardium. In this paper, we propose a new activation model that accounts for the transmural heterogeneities observed in myocardial strain measurements. In order to take the anisotropy of the active mechanics into account, our model is based on an active strain formulation. Thanks to multiplicative decomposition of the deformation gradient tensor, in this formulation, the active strains orthogonal to the fibers can be naturally described. We compare the results of our novel formulation against different anisotropic models of the active contraction of the cardiac muscle, as well as against experimental data available in the literature. We show that with the currently available models, the strain distributions are not in agreement with the reported experimental measurements. Conversely, we show that our new transmurally heterogeneous orthotropic activation model improves the accuracy of shear strains related to in-plane rotations and torsion.
active strain formulation, cardiac mechanics, finite element method, transmurally heterogeneous orthotropic activation