J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):333. doi:10.1115/1.1492292.
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster


J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):334-341. doi:10.1115/1.1489450.

A two-layer model is used to simulate the mechanical behavior of an airway or other biological vessel under external compressive stress or smooth muscle constriction sufficient to cause longitudinal mucosal buckling. Analytic and finite element numerical methods are used to examine the onset of buckling. Post-buckling solutions are obtained by finite element analysis, then verified with large-scale physical model experiments. The two-layer model provides insight into how the stiffness of a vessel wall changes due to changes in the geometry and intrinsic material stiffnesses of the wall components. Specifically, it predicts that the number of mucosal folds in the buckled state is diminished most by increased thickness of the inner collagen-rich layer, and relatively little by increased thickness of the outer submucosal layer. An increase in the ratio of the inner to outer material stiffnesses causes an intermediate reduction in the number of folds. Results are cast in a simple form that can easily be used to predict buckling in a variety of vessels. The model quantitatively confirms that an increase in the thickness of the inner layer leads to a reduction in the number of mucosal folds, and further, that this can lead to increased vessel collapse at high levels of smooth muscle constriction.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):342-346. doi:10.1115/1.1488935.

The human femoral artery can bleed dangerously following the removal of a catheter during cardiac catheterization. In this study, a modified technique of needle insertion, simply inserting the needle bevel-down instead of the standard bevel-up approach, was tested as a means to reduce bleeding after catheter removal. Large bore needle punctures were made in surgically exposed arteries of anesthetized pigs using either a standard technique (45 degree approach, bevel up) or a modified technique (25 degree approach, bevel down). For half the punctures, topical phenylephrine solution (1 mg/ml) was applied to the adventitia of the artery to cause constriction. Median bleeding rates were reduced from 81 to less than 1 ml/min/100 mmHg intraluminal pressure by the modified technique with application of phenylephrine. In most cases zero bleeding, that is self-sealing, of the arteries occurred. It is postulated that a flap-valve of tissue created by the modified technique produced this self-sealing behavior. Sophisticated modeling studies are needed to fully understand this new phenomenon.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):347-354. doi:10.1115/1.1487881.

The purpose of this paper is to present a simple new method for calculating the opening angle produced by a given residual stress field in a soft biological tissue. The method uses minimization of potential energy, and is therefore named the MPE method. The accuracy of the MPE method is evaluated by comparing the opening angle it predicts to results from a finite element model of the opening angle experiment. We show that the MPE method provides good predictions of the opening angle, and that it is significantly more accurate than two other methods previously used in the literature.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):355-363. doi:10.1115/1.1485284.

Clamp induced injuries of the arterial wall may determine the outcome of surgical procedures. Thus, it is important to investigate the underlying mechanical effects. We present a three-dimensional finite element model, which allows the study of the mechanical response of an artery–treated as a two-layer tube-during arterial clamping. The important residual stresses, which are associated with the load-free configuration of the artery, are also considered. In particular, the finite element analysis of the deformation process of a clamped artery and the associated stress distribution is presented. Within the clamping area a zone of axial tensile peak-stresses was identified, which (may) cause intimal and medial injury. This is an additional injury mechanism, which clearly differs from the commonly assumed wall damage occurring due to compression between the jaws of the clamp. The proposed numerical model provides essential insights into the mechanics of the clamping procedure and the associated injury mechanisms. It allows detailed parameter studies on a virtual clamped artery, which can not be performed with other methodologies. This approach has the potential to identify the most appropriate clamps for certain types of arteries and to guide optimal clamp design.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):364-377. doi:10.1115/1.1487880.

The total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC) is a palliative cardiothoracic surgical procedure used in patients with one functioning ventricle that excludes the heart from the systemic venous to pulmonary artery pathway. Blood in the superior and inferior vena cavae (SVC, IVC) is diverted directly to the pulmonary arteries. Since only one ventricle is left in the circulation, minimizing pressure drop by optimizing connection geometry becomes crucial. Although there have been numerical and in–vitro studies documenting the effect of connection geometry on overall pressure drop, there is little published data examining the effect of SVC-IVC flow rate ratio on detailed fluid mechanical structures within the various connection geometries. We present here results from a numerical study of the TCPC connection, configured with various connections and SVC:IVC flow ratios. The role of major flow parameters: shear stress, secondary flow, recirculation regions, flow stagnation regions, and flow separation, was examined. Results show a complex interplay among connection geometry, flow rate ratio and the types and effects of the various flow parameters described above. Significant changes in flow structures affected local distribution of pressure, which in turn changed overall pressure drop. Likewise, changes in local flow structure also produced changes in maximum shear stress values; this may have consequences for platelet activation and thrombus formation in the clinical situation. This study sheds light on the local flow structures created by the various connections and flow configurations and as such, provides an additional step toward understanding the detailed fluid mechanical behavior of the more complex physiological configurations seen clinically.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):378-387. doi:10.1115/1.1487357.

A three-dimensional and pulsatile blood flow in a human aortic arch and its three major branches has been studied numerically for a peak Reynolds number of 2500 and a frequency (or Womersley) parameter of 10. The simulation geometry was derived from the three-dimensional reconstruction of a series of two-dimensional slices obtained in vivo using CAT scan imaging on a human aorta. The numerical simulations were obtained using a projection method, and a finite-volume formulation of the Navier-Stokes equations was used on a system of overset grids. Our results demonstrate that the primary flow velocity is skewed towards the inner aortic wall in the ascending aorta, but this skewness shifts to the outer wall in the descending thoracic aorta. Within the arch branches, the flow velocities were skewed to the distal walls with flow reversal along the proximal walls. Extensive secondary flow motion was observed in the aorta, and the structure of these secondary flows was influenced considerably by the presence of the branches. Within the aorta, wall shear stresses were highly dynamic, but were generally high along the outer wall in the vicinity of the branches and low along the inner wall, particularly in the descending thoracic aorta. Within the branches, the shear stresses were considerably higher along the distal walls than along the proximal walls. Wall pressure was low along the inner aortic wall and high around the branches and along the outer wall in the ascending thoracic aorta. Comparison of our numerical results with the localization of early atherosclerotic lesions broadly suggests preferential development of these lesions in regions of extrema (either maxima or minima) in wall shear stress and pressure.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):388-396. doi:10.1115/1.1486469.

Tether formation, which is mechanically characterized by its threshold force and effective viscosity, is involved in neutrophil emigration from blood circulation. Using the micropipette aspiration technique, which was improved by quantitative contact control and computerized data analysis, we extracted tethers from human neutrophils treated with IL-8, PMA, or cytochalasin D. We found that both IL-8 and PMA elevated the threshold force to about twice as large as the value for passive neutrophils. All these treatments decreased the effective viscosity dramatically (∼80%). With a novel method, the residual cortical tension of the cytochalasin-D-treated non-spherical neutrophils was measured to be ∼8.8 pN/μm.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):397-407. doi:10.1115/1.1486468.

In the circulation, flow-responsive endothelial cells (ECs) lining the lumen of blood vessels are continuously exposed to complex hemodynamic forces. To increase our understanding of EC response to these dynamic shearing forces, a novel in vitro flow model was developed to simulate pulsatile shear stress waveforms encountered by the endothelium in the arterial circulation. A modified waveform modeled after flow patterns in the human abdominal aorta was used to evaluate the biological responsiveness of human umbilical vein ECs to this new type of stimulus. Arterial pulsatile flow for 24 hours was compared to an equivalent time-average steady laminar shear stress, using no flow (static) culture conditions as a baseline. While both flow stimuli induced comparable changes in cell shape and alignment, distinct patterns of responses were observed in the distribution of actin stress fibers and vinculin-associated adhesion complexes, intrinsic migratory characteristics, and the expression of eNOS mRNA and protein. These results thus reveal a unique responsiveness of ECs to an arterial waveform and begin to elucidate the complex sensing capabilities of the endothelium to the dynamic characteristics of flows throughout the human vascular tree.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):408-421. doi:10.1115/1.1485285.

We compare the measurements of viscoelastic properties of adherent alveolar epithelial cells by two micromanipulation techniques: (i) magnetic twisting cytometry and (ii) optical tweezers, using microbeads of same size and similarly attached to F-actin. The values of equivalent Young modulus E, derived from linear viscoelasticity theory, become consistent when the degree of bead immersion in the cell is taken into account. E-values are smaller in (i) than in (ii): ∼34–58 Pa vs ∼29–258 Pa, probably because higher stress in (i) reinforces nonlinearity and cellular plasticity. Otherwise, similar relaxation time constants, around 2 s, suggest similar dissipative mechanisms.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):422-431. doi:10.1115/1.1485752.

Two-dimensional physical models of the human head were used to investigate how the lateral ventricles and irregular skull base influence kinematics in the medial brain during sagittal angular head dynamics. Silicone gel simulated the brain and was separated from the surrounding skull vessel by paraffin that provided a slip interface between the gel and vessel. A humanlike skull base model (HSB) included a surrogate skull base mimicking the irregular geometry of the human. An HSBV model added an elliptical inclusion filled with liquid paraffin simulating the lateral ventricles to the HSB model. A simplified skull base model (SSBV) included ventricle substitute but approximated the anterior and middle cranial fossae by a flat and slightly angled surface. The models were exposed to 7600 rad/s2 peak angular acceleration with 6 ms pulse duration and 5 deg forced rotation. After 90 deg free rotation, the models were decelerated during 30 ms. Rigid body displacement, shear strain and principal strains were determined from high-speed video recorded trajectories of grid markers in the surrogate brains. Peak values of inferior brain surface displacement and strains were up to 10.9X (times) and 3.3X higher in SSBV than in HSBV. Peak strain was up to 2.7X higher in HSB than in HSBV. The results indicate that the irregular skull base protects nerves and vessels passing through the cranial floor by reducing brain displacement and that the intraventricular cerebrospinal fluid relieves strain in regions inferior and superior to the ventricles. The ventricles and irregular skull base are necessary in modeling head impact and understanding brain injury mechanisms.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):432-440. doi:10.1115/1.1485751.

In this study, a basic model is introduced to describe the biomechanical properties of the wood from the viewpoint of the composite structure of its cell wall. First, the mechanical interaction between the cellulose microfibril (CMF) as a bundle framework and the lignin-hemicellulose as a matrix (MT) skeleton in the secondary wall is formulated based on “the two phase approximation.” Thereafter, the origins of (1) tree growth stress, (2) shrinkage or swelling anisotropy of the wood, and (3) moisture dependency of the Young’s modulus of wood along the grain were simulated using the newly introduced model. Through the model formulation; (1) the behavior of the cellulose microfibril (CMF) and the matrix substance (MT) during cell wall maturation was estimated; (2) the moisture reactivity of each cell wall constituent was investigated; and (3) a realistic model of the fine composite structure of the matured cell wall was proposed. Thus, it is expected that the fine structure and internal property of each cell wall constituent can be estimated through the analyses of the macroscopic behaviors of wood based on the two phase approximation.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):441-449. doi:10.1115/1.1488934.

We seek the ideal wheat stalk, which minimizes the structural mass required to support a fixed grain load in the presence of gravity and wind. The optimization search is restricted to stepped cylindrical stems of known moduli and density but unknown dimension. Stem buckling and root anchorage strength are assumed to place restrictions on the permissible stalk resonant frequency in the presence of a specified wind forcing frequency. These effects are described mathematically, and the penalty parameter method is used to find stem mass minima for various stalk heights. In general, there are two alternative solution branches. The lower solution is the global minimum but it is probably impractical for field crops exposed to natural wind. The upper minimum is more conservative and therefore requires more stem mass. Due to the competing requirements of buckling versus anchorage strength, the parameter study shows that optimal wheat stem geometry has a nonlinear dependence on the intensity of gravity and the frequency spectra of the wind.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):450-455. doi:10.1115/1.1488169.

High-field, high-speed Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) generates high sound levels within and nearby the scanner. The mechanism and process that produces the gradient magnetic field (a cylindrical electro-magnet, called the gradient coil cylinder, which produces a spatially and temporally varying magnetic field inside a static background magnetic field) is the primary source of this noise. This noise can cause difficulties in verbal communication in and around the scanner, heightened patient anxiety, temporary hearing loss and possible permanent hearing impairment for health care workers and patients. In order to effectively suppress the sound radiation from the gradient coil cylinder the sound field within and nearby the gradient coil needs to be characterized. This characterization may be made using an analytical solution of the sound pressure field, computational simulation, measurement analysis or some combination of these three methods. This paper presents the computational simulation and measurement results of a study of the sound radiation from a head and neck gradient coil cylinder within a 4 Tesla MRI whole body scanner. The measurement results for the sound pressure level distribution along the centerline of the gradient coil cylinder are presented. The sound pressure distributions predicted from Finite Element Analysis of the gradient coil movement during operation and subsequent Boundary Element Analysis of the sound field generated are also presented. A comparison of the measured results and the predicted results shows close agreement. Because of the extremely complex nature of the analytical solution for the gradient coil cylinder, a treatment of the analytical solution and comparison to the computational results for a simple cylinder vibrating in a purely radial direction are also presented and also show close agreement between the two methods thus validating the computational approach used with the more complex gradient coil cylinder.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):456-461. doi:10.1115/1.1488168.

Short and long duration tests were conducted on hollow femoral bone cylinders to study the circumferential (hoop) creep response of cortical bone subjected to an intramedullary radial load. It was hypothesized that there is a stress threshold above which nonlinear creep effects dominate the mechanical response and below which the response is primarily determined by linear viscoelastic material properties. The results indicate that a hoop stress threshold exists for cortical bone, where creep strain, creep strain rate and residual strain exhibited linear behavior at low hoop stress and nonlinear behavior above the hoop stress threshold. A power-law relationship was used to describe creep strain as a function of hoop stress and time and damage morphology was assessed.

Topics: Deformation , Creep , Stress , Bone
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
J Biomech Eng. 2002;124(4):462-470. doi:10.1115/1.1488167.

A non-linear fracture mechanics approach was used to predict the failure response of complex cement-bone constructs. A series of eight mechanical tests with a combination of tensile and shear loading along the cement-bone interface was performed. Each experiment was modeled using the finite element method with non-linear constitutive models at the cement-bone interface. Interface constitutive parameters were assigned based on the quantity of bone interdigitated with the cement. There was a strong correlation (r2=0.80) between experimentally measured and finite element predicted ultimate loads. The average error in predicted ultimate load was 23.9 percent. In comparison to the ultimate load predictions, correlations and errors for total energy to failure (r2=0.24, avg. error=38.2 percent) and displacement at 50 percent of the ultimate load (r2=0.27, avg. error=52.2 percent) were poor. The results indicate that the non-linear constitutive laws could be useful in predicting the initiation and progression of interface failure of cemented bone-implant systems. However, improvements in the estimation of post-yield interface properties from the quantity of bone interdigitated with cement are needed to enhance predictions of the overall failure response.

Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster
Commentary by Dr. Valentin Fuster

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