A model of left ventricular function is developed based on morphological characteristics of the myocardial tissue. The passive response of the three-dimensional collagen network and the active contribution of the muscle fibers are integrated to yield the overall response of the left ventricle which is considered to be a thick wall cylinder. The deformation field and the distributions of stress and pressure are determined at each point in the cardiac cycle by numerically solving three equations of equilibrium. Simulated results in terms of the ventricular deformation during ejection and isovolumic cycles are shown to be in good qualitative agreement with experimental data. It is shown that the collagen network in the heart has considerable effect on the pressure-volume loops. The particular pattern of spatial orientation of the collagen determines the ventricular recoil properties in early diastole. The material properties (myocardial stiffness and contractility) are shown to affect both the pressure-volume loop and the deformation pattern of the ventricle. The results indicate that microstructural consideration offer a realistic representation of the left ventricle mechanics.

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