Species Dependence of the Zero-Stress State of Aorta: Pig Versus Rat

[+] Author and Article Information
H. C. Han, Y. C. Fung

Department of AMES/Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0412

J Biomech Eng 113(4), 446-451 (Nov 01, 1991) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2895425 History: Received April 29, 1990; Revised April 27, 1991; Online March 17, 2008


The zero-stress state of an aorta can be characterized by the angle with which each segment of the vessel opens up when it is cut radially. The opening angle varies with the region of the aorta: significantly with respect to the axial location, less significantly with respect to polar angle of the radial cut. Both pig and rat aortas have large opening angles in the neighborhood of 130 deg in the aortic arch region. In the thoracic region, the species difference is evident. The opening angle of the pig aorta in the middle thoracic region is rather constant in the neighborhood of 60 deg. The opening angle of the rat aorta in the thoracic region varies considerably, decreasing to 10 deg at the lower end of the thoracic region. In the abdominal region the opening angle of the pig increases from 60 to about 80 deg, that of the rat increases from about 10 to 90 deg. The potassium ion has effect on vascular smooth muscle, but has little effect on the opening angle. This suggests that the opening angle is not sensitive to smooth muscle contraction, similar to a previously known result that the opening angle is not affected by papaverine. The vessel wall thickness and vessel diameter were measured. It is shown that the ratio of the wall thickness to diameter of the pig is considerably larger than that of the rat throughout the aorta. The opening angle is shown to correlate with the vessel thickness to diameter ratio in the straight portion of the aorta, but the opening angle is large in the aortic arch region where the axial curvature of the blood vessel is large.

Copyright © 1991 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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