Biomechanics of cardiovascular development

Annu Rev Biomed Eng. 2001;3:1-25. doi: 10.1146/annurev.bioeng.3.1.1.


It long has been known that mechanical forces play a role in the development of the cardiovascular system, but only recently have biomechanical engineers begun to explore this field. This paper reviews some of this work. First, an overview of the relevant biology is discussed. Next, a mechanical theory is presented that can be used to model developmental processes. The theory includes the effects of finite volumetric growth and active contractile forces. Finally, applications of this and other theories to problems of cardiovascular development are discussed, and some future directions are suggested. The intent is to stimulate further interest among engineers in this important area of research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Biomedical Engineering / methods
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Heart / embryology
  • Heart / growth & development
  • Humans
  • Models, Cardiovascular