(1) Background: Vascular tissue seems to adapt towards stable homeostatic mechanical conditions, however, failure of reaching homeostasis may result in pathologies. Current vascular tissue adaptation models use many ad hoc
assumptions, the implications of which are far from being fully understood; (2) Methods: The present study investigates the plausibility of different growth kinematics in modeling Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) evolution in time. A structurally motivated constitutive description for the vessel wall is coupled to multi-constituent tissue growth descriptions; Constituent deposition preserved either the constituent’s density or its volume, and Isotropic Volume Growth (IVG), in-Plane Volume Growth (PVG), in-Thickness Volume Growth (TVG) and No Volume Growth (NVG) describe the kinematics of the growing vessel wall. The sensitivity of key modeling parameters is explored, and predictions are assessed for their plausibility; (3) Results: AAA development based on TVG and NVG kinematics provided not only quantitatively, but also qualitatively different results compared to IVG and PVG kinematics. Specifically, for IVG and PVG kinematics, increasing collagen mass production accelerated AAA expansion which seems counterintuitive. In addition, TVG and NVG kinematics showed less sensitivity to the initial constituent volume fractions, than predictions based on IVG and PVG; (4) Conclusions: The choice of tissue growth kinematics is of crucial importance when modeling AAA growth. Much more interdisciplinary experimental work is required to develop and validate vascular tissue adaption models, before such models can be of any practical use.
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