Mechanics of the mitral valve strut chordae insertion region

Muralidhar Padala, Michael S. Sacks, Shasan W. Liou, Kartik Balachandran, Zhaoming He, Ajit P. Yoganathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Interest in developing durable mitral valve repair methods is growing, underscoring the need to better understand the native mitral valve mechanics. In this study, the authors investigate the dynamic deformation of the mitral valve strut chordae-to-anterior leaflet transition zone using a novel stretch mapping method and report the complex mechanics of this region for the first time. Eight structurally normal porcine mitral valves were studied in a pulsatile left heart simulator under physiological hemodynamic conditions -120 mm peak transvalvular pressure, 5 l/min cardiac output at 70 bpm. The chordal insertion region was marked with a structured array of 31 miniature markers, and their motions throughout the cardiac cycle were tracked using two high speed cameras. 3D marker coordinates were calculated using direct linear transformation, and a second order continuous surface was fit to the marker cloud at each time frame. Average areal stretch, principal stretch magnitudes and directions, and stretch rates were computed, and temporal changes in each parameter were mapped over the insertion region. Stretch distribution was heterogeneous over the entire strut chordae insertion region, with the highest magnitudes along the edges of the chordal insertion region and the least along the axis of the strut chordae. At early systole, radial stretch was predominant, but by mid systole, significant stretch was observed in both radial and circumferential directions. The compressive stretches measured during systole indicate a strong coupling between the two principal directions, explaining the small magnitude of the systolic areal stretch. This study for the first time provides the dynamic kinematics of the strut chordae insertion region in the functioning mitral valve. A heterogeneous stretch pattern was measured, with the mechanics of this region governed by the complex underlying collagen architecture. The insertion region seemed to be under stretch during both systole and diastole, indicating a transfer of forces from the leaflets to the chordae and vice versa throughout the cardiac cycle, and demonstrating its role in optimal valve function.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Anterior leaflet
  • Chordae tendineae
  • Collagen fiber orientation
  • Dynamic strain measurement
  • Mitral valve


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