Quantifying the microstructural and biomechanical changes in the porcine ventricles during growth and remodelling

Faizan Ahmad (Corresponding / Lead Author), Shwe Soe, Julie Albon, Rachel Errington, Peter Theobald

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Cardiac tissue growth and remodelling (G & R) occur in response to the changing physiological demands of the heart after birth. The early shift to pulmonary circulation produces an immediate increase in ventricular workload, causing microstructural and biomechanical changes that serve to maintain overall physiological homoeostasis. Such cardiac G & R continues throughout life. Quantifying the tissue's mechanical and microstructural changes because of G & R is of increasing interest, dovetailing with the emerging fields of personalised and precision solutions. This study aimed to determine equibiaxial, and non-equibiaxial extension, stress-relaxation, and the underlying microstructure of the passive porcine ventricles tissue at four time points spanning from neonatal to adulthood. The three-dimensional microstructure was investigated via two-photon excited fluorescence and second-harmonic generation microscopy on optically cleared tissues, describing the 3D orientation, rotation and dispersion of the cardiomyocytes and collagen fibrils. The results revealed that during biomechanical testing, myocardial ventricular tissue possessed non-linear, anisotropic, and viscoelastic behaviour. An increase in stiffness and viscoelasticity was noted for the left and right ventricular free walls from neonatal to adulthood. Microstructural analyses revealed concomitant increases in cardiomyocyte rotation and dispersion. This study provides baseline data, describing the biomechanical and microstructural changes in the left and right ventricular myocardial tissue during G & R, which should prove valuable to researchers in developing age-specific, constitutive models for more accurate computational simulations.

    Statement of significance
    There is a dearth of experimental data describing the growth and remodelling of left and right ventricular tissue. The published literature is fragmented, with data reported via different experimental techniques using tissues harvested from a variety of animals, with different gender and ages. This prevents developing a continuum of data spanning birth to death, so limiting the potential that can be leveraged to aid computational modelling and simulations. In this study, equibiaxial, non-equibiaxial, and stress–relaxation data are presented, describing directional-dependent material responses. The biomechanical data is consolidated with equivalent microstructural data, an important element for the development of future material models. Combined, these data describe microstructural and biomechanical changes in the ventricles, spanning G &R from neonatal to adulthood.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalActa Biomaterialia
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 4 Oct 2023


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