The equatorial region of the canine left ventricle was modeled as a thick-walled cylinder consisting of an incompressible hyperelastic material with homogeneous exponential properties. The anisotropic properties of the passive myocardium were assumed to be locally transversely isotropic with respect to a fiber axis whose orientation varied linearly across the wall. Simultaneous inflation, extension, and torsion were applied to the cylinder to produce epicardial strains that were measured previously in the potassium-arrested dog heart. Residual stress in the unloaded state was included by considering the stress-free configuration to be a warped cylindrical arc. In the special case of isotropic material properties, torsion and residual stress both significantly reduced the high circumferential stress peaks predicted at the endocardium by previous models. However, a resultant axial force and moment were necessary to cause the observed epicardial deformations. Therefore, the anisotropic material parameters were found that minimized these resultants and allowed the prescribed displacements to occur subject to the known ventricular pressure loads. The global minimum solution of this parameter optimization problem indicated that the stiffness of passive myocardium (defined for a 20 percent equibiaxial extension) would be 2.4 to 6.6 times greater in the fiber direction than in the transverse plane for a broad range of assumed fiber angle distributions and residual stresses. This agrees with the results of biaxial tissue testing. The predicted transmural distributions of fiber stress were relatively flat with slight peaks in the subepicardium, and the fiber strain profiles agreed closely with experimentally observed sarcomere length distributions. The results indicate that torsion, residual stress and material anisotropy associated with the fiber architecture all can act to reduce endocardial stress gradients in the passive left ventricle.

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