Modeling the Volumetric Growth in the Heart
Thursday, March 26, 2020
3:30PM – 5PM
Many cardiac diseases impose pressure overload leading to ventricular enlargement via the growth of cardiac myocytes and remodeling of the collagen fiber architecture. One such disease is pulmonary arterial hypertension, which primarily affects the right ventricle. Computational heart models of the transition from the normal to the hypertensive states can be quite valuable in gaining insights into the pathophysiology of myocardium remodeling. We have developed a high-fidelity biventricular computational model of pulmonary arterial hypertension, and used it to predict the time-course adaptations of right heart. Our model accounted for growth processes driven by sarcomerogenesis and collagen fibrosis, coupled with myo- and collagen fiber reorientation events. We used our model to investigate the correlations between the alterations in the wall stress, the remodeling of the right heart microstructure, and the ventricular shape changes during the development of pulmonary arterial hypertension. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to investigate the interaction between fiber remodeling and volumetric growth in the heart. We are currently extending these models to true multi-scale approaches using novel multi-scale approaches to link single myocyte mechanics to the higher tissue and organ level functional events. Ultimately, the detailed description of organ-level remodeling patterns predicted by in-silico models such as ours could replace the traditional measures of RV dimensions and volume that remain inadequate indicators of cardiac performance and can be used for both pharmaceutical development and to guide clinical treatments.
Professor Michael Sacks is the W. A. “Tex” Moncrief, Jr. Simulation-Based Engineering Science Chair and a world authority on cardiovascular biomechanics. His research focuses on modeling and simulation on the mechanical behavior and function of the heart and native and replacement heart valves He is also active in the biomechanics of engineered tissues, and in understanding the in-vitro and in-vivo remodeling processes from a functional biomechanical perspective. Dr. Sacks is currently Professor of Biomedical Engineering and director of the Oden Institute’s Willerson Center for Cardiovascular Modeling and Simulation. His research includes multi-scale mathematical and computational modeling of cell/tissue/organ mechanical interactions of the heart and its valves.