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Biomechanics of Elastic and Muscular Arteries in the Context of Aging

Majid Jadidi Miandashti, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Despite their seemingly simple nature, arteries are not simple rigid tubes that carry blood. They are living organisms that grow, adapt, develop disease, and respond differently to treatment. Arterial mechanical and structural characteristics play important roles in vascular physiology and pathophysiology and profoundly influence the design and clinical performance of repair materials and devices. In this dissertation, we are presenting a comprehensive biomechanical analysis of the two main human artery types, elastic and muscular, and report on their differences in structure, function, and mechanical properties using bidirectional histology, multiphoton microscopy, biaxial mechanical extension, and constitutive modeling. Our results demonstrate that elastic and muscular arteries are morphometrically, mechanically, and structurally different, and their adaptation to aging supports their distinct physiologic functions. Specifically, the elastic aorta remodels to preserve its Windkessel effect, while the muscular femoropopliteal artery maintains higher longitudinal compliance, likely to accommodate limb flexion-induced deformations. The presented data explain several common misconceptions regarding changes in elastic and muscular artery stiffness with age, unravel important aspects of vascular mechanophysiology and adaptation to aging, and report arterial characteristics that can be used to guide the development of artery-specific repair materials and devices.

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Recommended Citation

Jadidi Miandashti, Majid, "Biomechanics of Elastic and Muscular Arteries in the Context of Aging" (2020). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI28152358.