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Technical Brief

CONTRACTILE SMOOTH MUSCLE AND ACTIVE STRESS GENERATION IN PORCINE COMMON CAROTIDS

[+] Author and Article Information
Boran Zhou

Department of Radiology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, 55905
zhou.boran@mayo.edu

David A Prim

College of Engineering and Computing, Biomedical Engineering Program, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208
davidprim9@gmail.com

Eva Romito

College of Engineering and Computing, Biomedical Engineering Program, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208; Cardiovascular Translational Research Center, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208
eva.romito@yale.edu

Liam P McNamara

College of Engineering and Computing, Biomedical Engineering Program, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208
liampmcnamara@gmail.com

Francis G Spinale

Cardiovascular Translational Research Center, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208; School of Medicine, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208
cvctrc@uscmed.sc.edu

Tarek Shazly

College of Engineering and Computing, Biomedical Engineering Program, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208; College of Engineering and Computing, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208
shazly@cec.sc.edu

John F Eberth

College of Engineering and Computing, Biomedical Engineering Program, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208; School of Medicine, Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, 29208
john.eberth@uscmed.sc.edu

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4037949 History: Received May 17, 2017; Revised September 14, 2017

Abstract

The mechanical response of intact blood vessels to applied loads can be delineated into passive and active components using an isometric decomposition approach. Whereas the passive response is due predominantly to the extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins and amorphous ground substance, the active response depends on the presence of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and the contractile machinery activated within those cells. To better understand determinants of active stress generation within the vascular wall we subjected porcine common carotid arteries (CCAs) to biaxial inflation-extension testing under maximally contracted or passive SMC conditions and semi-quantitatively measured two known markers of the contractile SMC phenotype: smoothelin and smooth muscle-myosin heavy chain (SM-MHC). Using isometric decomposition and established constitutive models, an intuitive but novel correlation between the magnitude of active stress generation and the relative abundance of smoothelin and SM-MHC emerged. Our results reiterate the importance of stretch-dependent active stress generation to the total mechanical response. Overall these findings can be used to decouple the mechanical contribution of SMCs from the ECM and is therefore a powerful tool in the analysis of disease states and potential therapies where both constituent are altered.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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