To properly simulate the behavior of biological structures through computer modeling, there exists a need to describe parameters that vary locally. These parameters can be obtained either from literature or from experimental data and they are often assigned to regions in the model as lumped values. Furthermore, parameter values may be obtained on a representative case and may not be available for each specific modeled organ. We describe a semiautomated technique to assign detailed maps of local tissue properties to a computational model of a biological structure. We applied the method to the left atrium of the heart. The orientation of myocytes in the tissue as obtained from histologic analysis was transferred to the 3D model of a porcine left atrium. Finite element method (FEM) dynamic simulations were performed by using an isotropic, neo-Hookean, constitutive model first, then adding an anisotropic, cardiomyocyte oriented, Fung-type component. Results showed higher stresses for the anisotropic material model corresponding to lower stretches in the cardiomyocyte directions. The same methodology can be applied to transfer any map of parameters onto a discretized finite element model.

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