Residual strain in the ventricle of the stage 16-24 chick embryo.
Residual stress and strain, i.e., the stress and strain remaining in a solid when all external loads are removed, may be produced in biological tissues by differential growth. During cardiac development, residual stress and strain may play a role in cardiac morphogenesis by affecting ventricular wall stress. After a transmural radial cut, a passive ventricular cross section opens into a sector, and the size of the opening angle provides a measure of the circumferential residual strain. Residual strains were characterized in this manner for the apical region of the diastolic embryonic chick heart for Hamburger-Hamilton stages 16, 18, 21, and 24 (approximately 2.5, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5 days, respectively, of a 21-day incubation period). The average opening angle at these stages was 107 +/- 10 degrees, 79 +/- 10 degrees, 73 +/- 11 degrees, and 74 +/- 7 degrees, respectively (n > or = 5 for each stage). These measured angles were correlated with changes in ventricular morphology. Scanning electron micrographs of the apex revealed that the wall of the ventricle is smooth at stage 16. Then at stage 18, myocardial trabeculae develop, forming ridges with primarily a circumferential orientation. By stage 21, the trabeculae develop into a mesh, giving the ventricular wall a spongelike appearance, and the preferred orientation is lost by stage 24. The large decrease in opening angle between stages 16 and 18 corresponded to the onset of trabeculation, which is the greatest change in form during the studied stages. We speculate that residual strain is an important biomechanical factor during cardiac morphogenesis.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association