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This chapter discusses a phenomenological approach to simulate active contraction within the framework of elasticity theory. The concepts of an evolving zero-stress configuration and time-varying elasticity are introduced. These ideas are used to model the fundamental behavior of contractile structures. The theory is then used to study the mechanics of the beating heart.
KeywordsActin Myosin Cross-bridge Contraction Contractile element Contractile fiber Sarcomere Contraction velocity Hill’s equation Muscle (striated smooth heart) Stress fiber Twitch Tetanus Myocardium Time-varying elasticity Time-varying elastance Strain-energy density function (passive active) Pressure-volume loop Pressure-volume relation
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