Modeling left ventricular dynamics with characteristic deformation modes

Brian D. Hong, Michael J. Moulton, Timothy W. Secomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A computationally efficient method is described for simulating the dynamics of the left ventricle (LV) in three dimensions. LV motion is represented as a combination of a limited number of deformation modes, chosen to represent observed cardiac motions while conserving volume in the LV wall. The contribution of each mode to wall motion is determined by a corresponding time-dependent deformation variable. The principle of virtual work is applied to these deformation variables, yielding a system of ordinary differential equations for LV dynamics, including effects of muscle fiber orientations, active and passive stresses, and surface tractions. Passive stress is governed by a transversely isotropic elastic model. Active stress acts in the fiber direction and incorporates length–tension and force–velocity properties of cardiac muscle. Preload and afterload are represented by lumped vascular models. The variational equations and their numerical solutions are verified by comparison to analytic solutions of the strong form equations. Deformation modes are constructed using Fourier series with an arbitrary number of terms. Greater numbers of deformation modes increase deformable model resolution but at increased computational cost. Simulations of normal LV motion throughout the cardiac cycle are presented using models with 8, 23, or 46 deformation modes. Aggregate quantities that describe LV function vary little as the number of deformation modes is increased. Spatial distributions of stress and strain change as more deformation modes are included, but overall patterns are conserved. This approach yields three-dimensional simulations of the cardiac cycle on a clinically relevant time-scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1683-1696
Number of pages14
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • 3D simulation
  • Cardiac mechanics
  • Computational modeling
  • Deformation modes
  • Left ventricle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering


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