Gel stretch method: a new method to measure constitutive properties of cardiac muscle cells.
Diastolic dysfunction is an important cause of congestive heart failure; however, the basic mechanisms causing diastolic congestive heart failure are not fully understood, especially the role of the cardiac muscle cell, or cardiocyte, in this process. Before the role of the cardiocyte in this pathophysiology can be defined, methods for measuring cardiocyte constitutive properties must be developed and validated. Thus this study was designed to evaluate a new method to characterize cardiocyte constitutive properties, the gel stretch method. Cardiocytes were isolated enzymatically from normal feline hearts and embedded in a 2% agarose gel containing HEPES-Krebs buffer and laminin. This gel was cast in a shape that allowed it to be placed in a stretching device. The ends of the gel were held between a movable roller and fixed plates that acted as mandibles. Distance between the right and left mandibles was increased using a stepper motor system. The force applied to the gel was measured by a force transducer. The resultant cardiocyte strain was determined by imaging the cells with a microscope, capturing the images with a CCD camera, and measuring cardiocyte and sarcomere length changes. Cardiocyte stress was characterized with a finite-element method. These measurements of cardiocyte stress and strain were used to determine cardiocyte stiffness. Two variables affecting cardiocyte stiffness were measured, the passive elastic spring and viscous damping. The passive spring was assessed by increasing the force on the gel at 1 g/min, modeling the resultant stress vs. strain relationship as an exponential [sigma = A/k(ekepsilon - 1)]. In normal cardiocytes, A = 23.0 kN/m2 and k = 16. Viscous damping was assessed by examining the loop area between the stress vs. strain relationship during 1 g/min increases and decreases in force. Normal cardiocytes had a finite loop area = 1.39 kN/m2, indicating the presence of viscous damping. Thus the gel stretch method provided accurate measurements of cardiocyte constitutive properties. These measurements have allowed the first quantitative assessment of passive elastic spring properties and viscous damping in normal mammalian cardiocytes.
Version: za2963e q8zaf q8zbd q8zc6 q8zdf q8ze2 q8zf3 q8zgb