DOI: 10.1115/1.4064146 ISSN: 0148-0731

Layer-Specific Properties of the Human Infra-Renal Aorta During Aging Considering Pre/Post-Failure Damage

Dimitrios P. Sokolis
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Biomedical Engineering


There is little information on the layer-specific failure properties of the adult human abdominal aorta, and there has been no quantification of postfailure damage. Infra-renal aortas were thus taken from forty-seven autopsy subjects and cut into 870 intact-wall and layer strips that underwent uni-axial-tensile testing. Intact-wall failure stress did not differ significantly (p > 0.05) from the medial value longitudinally, nor from the intimal and medial values circumferentially, which were the lowest recorded values. Intact-wall failure stretch did not differ (p > 0.05) from the medial value in either direction. Intact-wall prefailure stretch (defined as failure stretch-stretch at the initiation of the concave phase of the stress–stretch response) did not differ (p > 0.05) from the intimal and medial values, and intact-wall postfailure stretch (viz., full-rupture stretch-failure stretch) did not differ (p > 0.05) from the adventitial value since the adventitia was the last layer to rupture, being most extensible albeit under residual tension. Intact-wall failure stress and stretch declined from 20 to 60 years, explained by steady declines throughout the lifetime of their medial counterparts, implicating beyond 60 years the less age-varying failure properties of the intima under minimal residual compression. The positive correlation of postfailure stretch with age counteracted the declining failure stretch, serving as a compensatory mechanism against rupture. Hypertension, diabetes, and coronary artery disease adversely affected the intact-wall and layer-specific failure stretches while increasing stiffness.

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