Technical Brief

Stiffness Properties of Adventitia, Media, and Full Thickness Human Atherosclerotic Carotid Arteries in the Axial and Circumferential Directions

[+] Author and Article Information
Allen H. Hoffman

Mechanical Engineering Department,
Worcester Polytechnic Institute,
Worcester, MA 01609

Zhongzhao Teng

Mathematical Sciences Department,
Worcester Polytechnic Institute,
Worcester, MA 01609;
Department of Radiology,
University of Cambridge,
Cambridge CB2 0QQ, UK

Jie Zheng, Pamela K. Woodard

Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology,
Washington University,
St. Louis, MO 63110

Zheyang Wu

Mathematical Sciences Department,
Worcester Polytechnic Institute,
Worcester, MA 01609

Kristen L. Billiar

Biomedical Engineering Department,
Worcester Polytechnic Institute,
Worcester, MA 01609

Liang Wang

School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering,
Southeast University,
Nanjing 210096, China

Dalin Tang

School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering,
Southeast University,
Nanjing 210096, China;
Mathematical Sciences Department,
Worcester Polytechnic Institute,
Worcester, MA 01609
e-mail: dtang@wpi.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 19, 2017; final manuscript received August 13, 2017; published online September 28, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Guy M. Genin.

J Biomech Eng 139(12), 124501 (Sep 28, 2017) (6 pages) Paper No: BIO-17-1163; doi: 10.1115/1.4037794 History: Received April 19, 2017; Revised August 13, 2017

Arteries can be considered as layered composite material. Experimental data on the stiffness of human atherosclerotic carotid arteries and their media and adventitia layers are very limited. This study used uniaxial tests to determine the stiffness (tangent modulus) of human carotid artery sections containing American Heart Association type II and III lesions. Axial and circumferential oriented adventitia, media, and full thickness specimens were prepared from six human carotid arteries (total tissue strips: 71). Each artery yielded 12 specimens with two specimens in each of the following six categories; axial full thickness, axial adventitia (AA), axial media (AM), circumferential full thickness, circumferential adventitia (CA), and circumferential media (CM). Uniaxial testing was performed using Inspec 2200 controlled by software developed using labview. The mean stiffness of the adventitia was 3570 ± 667 and 2960 ± 331 kPa in the axial and circumferential directions, respectively, while the corresponding values for the media were 1070 ± 186 and 1800 ± 384 kPa. The adventitia was significantly stiffer than the media in both the axial (p = 0.003) and circumferential (p = 0.010) directions. The stiffness of the full thickness specimens was nearly identical in the axial (1540 ± 186) and circumferential (1530 ± 389 kPa) directions. The differences in axial and circumferential stiffness of media and adventitia were not statistically significant.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Specimen preparation. Four axial strips and four circumferential rings were dissected from each artery. Two strips and two rings were further dissected to create paired adventitia and media specimens.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Stress–strain plots from a single artery (F, age 80): (a) axial specimens. AA: axial adventitia; AM: axial media; and AI: axial intact. (b) Circumferential specimens. CA: circumferential adventitia; CM: circumferential media; and CI: circumferential intact.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Stiffness data from six human atherosclerotic carotid arteries. AA: axial adventitia; AM: axial media; CA: circumferential adventitia; CM: circumferential media; AI: axial intact; and CI: circumferential intact.



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