Evaluation of the mechanical properties of arterial wall components is necessary for establishing a precise mechanical model applicable in various physiological and pathological conditions, such as remodeling. In this contribution, a new approach for the evaluation of the mechanical properties of aortic media accounting for the lamellar structure is proposed. We assumed aortic media to be composed of two sets of concentric layers, namely sheets of elastin (Layer I) and interstitial layers composed of mostly collagen bundles, fine elastic fibers and smooth muscle cells (Layer II). Biaxial mechanical tests were carried out on human thoracic aortic samples, and histological staining was performed to distinguish wall lamellae for determining the dimensions of the layers. A neo-Hookean strain energy function (SEF) for Layer I and a four-parameter exponential SEF for Layer II were allocated. Nonlinear regression was used to find the material parameters of the proposed microstructural model based on experimental data. The non-linear behavior of media layers confirmed the higher contribution of elastic tissue in lower strains and the gradual engagement of collagen fibers. The resulting model determines the nonlinear anisotropic behavior of aortic media through the lamellar microstructure and can be assistive in the study of wall remodeling due to alterations in lamellar structure during pathological conditions and aging.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited