Axial prestretch and circumferential distensibility in biomechanics of abdominal aorta
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Our study presents the results of an analytical simulation of the inflation-extension behaviour of the human abdominal aorta treated as nonlinear, anisotropic, prestrained thin-walled as well as thick-walled tube with closed ends. The constitutive parameters and geometries for 17 aortas adopted from the literature were supplemented with initial axial prestretches obtained from the statistics of 365 autopsy measurements. For each aorta, the inflation-extension response was calculated three-times: with expected value of the initial prestretch and with the upper and lower confidence limit of the initial prestretch derived from the statistics. This approach enabled age-related trends to be evaluated bearing in mind the uncertainty in the prestretch. Despite significantly decreased longitudinal prestretch with age, the biomechanical response of human abdominal aorta changes substantially depending on the initial axial stretch used. In particular, substituting the upper limit of initial prestretch gave mechanical responses which can be characterised by (1) low variation in axial stretch, and (2) high circumferential distensibility during pressurisation, in contrast to the responses obtained for their weakly prestretched counterparts.
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