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J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2014 Jan;29:618-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2013.01.026. Epub 2013 Feb 9.

Quantification of regional differences in aortic stiffness in the aging human.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520-8260, USA.


There has been a growing awareness over the past decade that stiffening of the aorta, and its attendant effects on hemodynamics, is both an indicator and initiator of diverse cardiovascular, neurovascular, and renovascular diseases. Although different clinical metrics of arterial stiffness have been proposed and found useful in particular situations, there remains a need to understand better the complex interactions between evolving aortic stiffness and the hemodynamics. Computational fluid-solid-interaction (FSI) models are amongst the most promising means to understand such interactions for one can parametrically examine effects of regional variations in material properties and arterial geometry on local and systemic blood pressure and flow. Such models will not only increase our understanding, they will also serve as important steps towards the development of fluid-solid-growth (FSG) models that can further examine interactions between the evolving wall mechanics and hemodynamics that lead to arterial adaptations or disease progression over long periods. In this paper, we present a consistent quantification and comparison of regional nonlinear biaxial mechanical properties of the human aorta based on 19 data sets available in the literature and we calculate associated values of linearized stiffness over the cardiac cycle that are useful for initial large-scale FSI and FSG simulations. It is shown, however, that there is considerable variability amongst the available data and consequently that there is a pressing need for more standardized biaxial testing of the human aorta to collect data as a function of both location and age, particularly for young healthy individuals who serve as essential controls.


Distensibility; Elastic modulus; Fluid–solid-interaction; Material properties; Strain; Stress

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