Research Papers

Implementation and Validation of Aortic Remodeling in Hypertensive Rats

[+] Author and Article Information
Shijia Zhao

Department of Mechanical &
Materials Engineering,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
Lincoln, NE 68588-0656

Linxia Gu

Department of Mechanical &
Materials Engineering,
University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
Lincoln, NE 68588-0656;
Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience,
Lincoln, NE 68588-0656
e-mail: lgu2@unl.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received February 19, 2014; final manuscript received June 18, 2014; accepted manuscript posted July 2, 2014; published online July 15, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Dalin Tang.

J Biomech Eng 136(9), 091007 (Jul 15, 2014) (8 pages) Paper No: BIO-14-1088; doi: 10.1115/1.4027939 History: Received February 19, 2014; Revised June 18, 2014; Accepted July 02, 2014

A computational framework was implemented and validated to better understand the hypertensive artery remodeling in both geometric dimensions and material properties. Integrating the stress-modulated remodeling equations into commercial finite element codes allows a better control and visualization of local mechanical parameters. Both arterial thickening and stiffening effects were captured and visualized. An adaptive material remodeling strategy combined with the element birth and death techniques for the geometrical growth were implemented. The numerically predicted remodeling results in terms of the wall thickness, inner diameter, and the ratio of elastin to collagen content of the artery were compared with and fine-tuned by the experimental data from a documented rat model. The influence of time constant on the material remodeling was also evaluated and discussed. In addition, the geometrical growth and material remodeling were isolated to better understand the contributions of each element to the arterial remodeling and their coupling effect. Finally, this framework was applied to an image-based 3D artery generated from computer tomography to demonstrate its heterogeneous remodeling process. Results suggested that hypertension induced arterial remodeling are quite heterogeneous due to both nonlinear geometry and material adaptation process. The developed computational model provided more insights into the evolutions of morphology and material of the artery, which could complement the discrete experimental data for improving the clinical management of hypertension. The proposed framework could also be extended to study other types of stress-driven tissue remodeling including in-stent restenosis and grafting.

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Fig. 1

The evolution history comparisons between experiment and simulation: (a) peak first principal stress, (b) wall thickness, (c) inner diameter, and (d) elastic modulus of aorta

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Fig. 2

The role of time constant: (a) peak first principal stress, (b) wall thickness, (c) inner diameter, and (d) elastic modulus of aorta

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Fig. 3

Cases with and without material remodeling: (a) peak first principal stress, (b) wall thickness, and (c) inner diameter

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Fig. 4

Cases with and without geometry growth: (a) peak first principal stress, (b) inner diameter, and (c) elastic modulus

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Fig. 5

Stress distribution of an image-based artery

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Fig. 6

Heterogeneous geometrical and material remodeling of an image-based artery at (a) cross section m-m and (b) cross section n-n. Left: maximum principal stress map before remodeling; middle: highlighted neo-tissue after remodeling; right: the E/C ratio map.




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