Biodynamics: Circulation by Y. C. Fung

By Y. C. Fung

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The operation of the mitral valves does not need the help of the papillary muscles, although these muscles do pull on the edge of the membranes (see Figs. 3: 1). In the human heart the papillary muscles constitute about 10% of the total heart mass. What are they for ? To understand the function of the papillary muscles we should go back to the law of Laplace (see Fung, 1981, p. 6 Fluid Mech anic s of the Heart (3) Now , during isovolumic contraction the papillary muscles are not restrained in length , and they can shorten, pulling on the valve membrane, increasing its tension T 1 , T 2 , and decrea sing its radii of curvature r l ' r2' so that the ventricular pressure Pi is increa sed.

The bundle of His passes down the right side of the interventricular septum and then divides into the right and left bundle branches. From these further branches called Purkinje f ibers spread over both ventricles. See Fig. 3: 1. Electric signal propagates fast in the Purkinje fibers at a speed of 1 to 4 m/sec. The last stage of electric transmission is done by the cardiac muscle itself, transmitting from one cell to the next. There is a semblance of syncytium between cardiac muscle cells, which make such excitation possible .

They lie essentially in a plane . The aortic valve consists of three thin, crescent-shaped cusps (whence the name semilunar), which in the open position are displaced outward toward the aorta. In the closed position the three cusps come together to seal the aortic orifice. Behind the cusps there are outpouchings of the aortic root, called the sinuses of Valsalva, which playa role in the closure of the valve. The pulmonic valve has a similar structure. The mitral valve consists of two thin membranous cusps of roughly trapezoidal shape which originate from the slightly elliptical mitral ring.

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