About this Research Topic
Here, we focus on the cardiovascular system which includes the heart and blood vessels as this discipline has been at the frontier of computational modeling both for understanding physiology and disease. For example, it is now clinical practice to compute pressure drop in the coronary arteries using CT (to determine fractional flow reserve), or to non-invasively measure regional heart wall motion and strain in patients by using echocardiography or cardiac MRI in order to diagnose localized contractile disorders. On the latter, there is still no reliable way to directly measure the forces or stresses that produce abnormal heart wall motion. Cardiologists have long been interested in quantification of heart wall stress because it is a primary determinant of coronary blood flow and myocardial oxygen consumption. Moreover, changes in wall stress are believed to be stimuli to cardiac growth and remodeling. Since regional heart wall stress cannot be measured reliably, mathematical modeling based on the conservation laws of continuum mechanics is needed. Because heart wall geometry (including its fibrous architecture) is fully 3D and the mechanical properties of beating myocardium are nonlinear, there are no exact solutions of the governing differential equations of motion. Thus, numerical methods are required to find numerical approximations. The most versatile numerical method is the finite element (FE) method, which is widely used in the automotive and aerospace industries. Most FE models concerned with heart disease include only the left ventricular (LV) heart chamber because it is under the greatest stress (highest pressures) and thus, most prone to failure.
In the spirit of continuing these and other translational efforts, it is important to encourage further computational modeling that range from molecular, to cellular, to tissues and organs. It is our hope that this edition will serve to bring powerful analytical tools to the clinic that improve safety and efficacy and diagnostics and therapeutics.
Keywords: Biomechanics, cardiac mechanics, vascular mechanics, heart failure, coronary circulation
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