In Vitro Measurement of Strain Localization Preceding Dissection of the Aortic Wall Subjected to Radial Tension

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Abstract

Background: Aortic dissection (AD) is a common pathology and challenging clinical problem. A better understanding of the biomechanical effects preceding its initiation is essential for predicting adverse events on a patient-specific basis. Moreover, the predictability of patient-specific biomechanics-based computational models is hampered by uncertainty about boundary conditions and material properties. Objective: Predisposition of thoracic aortic aneurysms (TAA) to ADs can be related to the degradation of biomechanically important constituents in the aortic wall of TAAs. The goal of the present study is to develop a new methodology to measure strain fields in aortic tissues subjected to radial tensile loading, combining optical coherence tomography (OCT) and digital image correlation (DIC). Methods: Radial tensile tests are performed on 5 samples collected from a healthy porcine descending thoracic aorta and 2 samples collected from a human ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm. At each step of the radial tensile test, the OCT technique is used to acquire images of the sample presenting a speckle pattern generated by the optical signature of the tissue. The speckle pattern is used to quantify displacement and strain fields using DIC. Stress-strain data are also measured throughout the analyzed range. Results: Results show that strain commonly localizes very early during tensile tests, at the location where the crack onset occurs. Aneurysm samples even show a sharper localization than healthy porcine tissues. Conclusion: This suggests the importance of extending the analysis to a larger number of human samples using our new methodology to better identify the conditions predisposing aortas to dissection.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine12
RivistaExperimental Mechanics
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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