A fast computational model for circulatory dynamics: effects of left ventricle–aorta coupling

Michael J. Moulton, Timothy W. Secomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The course of diseases such as hypertension, systolic heart failure and heart failure with a preserved ejection fraction is affected by interactions between the left ventricle (LV) and the vasculature. To study these interactions, a computationally efficient, biophysically based mathematical model for the circulatory system is presented. In a four-chamber model of the heart, the LV is represented by a previously described low-order, wall volume-preserving model that includes torsion and base-to-apex and circumferential wall shortening and lengthening, and the other chambers are represented using spherical geometries. Active and passive myocardial mechanics of all four chambers are included. The cardiac model is coupled with a wave propagation model for the aorta and a closed lumped-parameter circulation model. Parameters for the normal heart and aorta are determined by fitting to experimental data. Changes in the timing and magnitude of pulse wave reflections by the aorta are demonstrated with changes in compliance and taper of the aorta as seen in aging (decreased compliance, increased diameter and length), and resulting effects on LV pressure–volume loops and LV fiber stress and sarcomere shortening are predicted. Effects of aging of the aorta combined with reduced LV contractile force (failing heart) are examined. In the failing heart, changes in aortic properties with aging affect stroke volume and sarcomere shortening without appreciable augmentation of aortic pressure, and the reflected pressure wave contributes an increased proportion of aortic pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-959
Number of pages13
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Aortic wave propagation
  • Cardiac mechanics
  • Mathematical model
  • Myocardial pressure–volume curve
  • Ventricular wall stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering


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