Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation




Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Jonathan F. Wenk

Second Advisor

Dr. Keith Rouch


The goal of this dissertation was to develop a realistic and patient-specific computational model of the heart that ultimately would help medical scientists to better diagnose and treat heart diseases. In order to achieve this goal, a three dimensional finite element model of the heart was created using magnetic resonance images of the beating pig heart. This model was loaded by the pressure of blood inside the left ventricle which was measured by synchronous catheterization. A recently developed structurally based constitutive model of the myocardium was incorporated in the finite element solver to model passive left ventricular myocardium. Additionally, an unloading algorithm originally designed for arteries was adapted to estimate the stress-free geometry of the heart from its partially-loaded geometry obtained from magnetic resonance imaging. Finally, a regionally varying growth module was added to the computational model to predict eccentric hypertrophy of the heart under various pathological conditions that result in volume overload of the heart. The computational model was validated using experimental data obtained from porcine heart such as in vivo strains measured from magnetic resonance imaging.