Transmural gradients of myocardial structure and mechanics: Implications for fiber stress and strain in pressure overload.
A theoretical model is presented for growth and remodeling in the developing embryonic heart. The model is a thick-walled tube composed of two layers of orthotropic pseudoelastic material. The analysis includes stress and strain dependent volumetric growth, with changes in material properties specified to reflect the evolving structure of the heart wall. For use in model validation, experimental measurements of ventricular opening angles are reported for 3-4-day old chick embryos under control and pressure overload conditions. Owing to changes in residual stress in the overloaded heart, the opening angle decreased from 31 +/- 10 degrees to -8 +/- 12 degrees (mean +/- SD) within 12 h and then increased slightly. The opening angle at 12 h was significantly less than the control value. With an appropriate choice of parameters, the model yields reasonable agreement with these and other published opening angle data, as well as with temporal changes in lumen radius, wall thickness, epicardial strains, and pressure-volume curves during development before and after birth.