Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
García-Herrera C., Atienza J., Rojo F., Claes E., Guinea G., Celentano D., García-Montero C. and Burgos R. (2012)

Mechanical behaviour and rupture of normal and pathological human ascending aortic wall. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11517-012-0876-x

Revista : Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing
Volumen : 50
Número : 6
Páginas : 559-566
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


The mechanical properties of aortic wall, both healthy and pathological, are needed in order to develop and improve diagnostic and interventional criteria, and for the development of mechanical models to assess arterial integrity. This study focuses on the mechanical behaviour and rupture conditions of the human ascending aorta and its relationship with age and pathologies. Fresh ascending aortic specimens harvested from 23 healthy donors, 12 patients with bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) and 14 with aneurysm were tensile-tested in vitro under physiological conditions. Tensile strength, stretch at failure and elbow stress were measured. The obtained results showed that age causes a major reduction in the mechanical parameters of healthy ascending aortic tissue, and that no significant differences are found between the mechanical strength of aneurysmal or BAV aortic specimens and the corresponding age-matched control group. The physiological level of the stress in the circumferential direction was also computed to assess the physiological operation range of healthy and diseased ascending aortas. The mean physiological wall stress acting on pathologic aortas was found to be far from rupture, with factors of safety (defined as the ratio of tensile strength to the mean wall stress) larger than six. In contrast, the physiological operation of pathologic vessels lays in the stiff part of the response curve, losing part of its function of damping the pressure waves from the heart.