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Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) commonly leads to right ventricular (RV) hypertrophy and fibrosis that affect the mechanical properties of the RV myocardium. To investigate the effects of PAH on the mechanics of the RV myocardium and extracellular matrix, we compared RV wall samples, isolated from rats in which PAH was induced using the SuHx protocol, with samples from control animals before and after the tissues were decellularized. Planar biaxial mechanical testing, a technique first adapted to living soft biological tissues by Y-C Fung, was performed on intact and decellularized samples. Y-C Fung's anisotropic exponential strain energy function fitted the full range of biaxial test results with high fidelity in control and PAH samples both before and after they were decellularized. Mean RV myocardial apex-to-outflow tract and circumferential stresses during equibiaxial strain were significantly greater in PAH than control samples. Mean RV ECM circumferential but not apex-to-outflow tract stresses during equibiaxial strain were significantly greater in the PAH than control group. The ratio of ECM to myocardial stresses at matched strains did not change significantly between groups. Circumferential stresses were significantly higher than apex-to-outflow tract stresses for all groups. These findings confirm the predictions of a mathematical model based on changes in RV hemodynamics and morphology in rat PAH, and may provide a foundation for a new constitutive analysis of the contributions of extracellular matrix remodeling to changes in RV filling properties during PAH.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of biomechanical engineering
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