New interpretation of arterial stiffening due to cigarette smoking using a structurally motivated constitutive model

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2011



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Cigarette smoking is the leading self-inflicted risk factor for cardiovascular diseases; it causes arterial stiffening with serious sequelea including atherosclerosis and abdominal aortic aneurysms. This work presents a new interpretation of arterial stiffening caused by smoking based on data published for rat pulmonary arteries. A structurally motivated ‘‘four fiber family’’ constitutive relation was used to fit the available biaxial data and associated best-fit values of material parameters were estimated using multivariate nonlinear regression. Results suggested that arterial stiffening caused by smoking was reflected by consistent increase in an elastin-associated parameter and moreover by marked increase in the collagen-associated parameters. That is, we suggest that arterial stiffening due to cigarette smoking appears to be isotropic, which may allow simpler phenomenological models to capture these effects using a single stiffening parameter similar to the approach in isotropic continuum damage mechanics. There is a pressing need, however, for more detailed histological information coupled with more complete biaxial mechanical data for a broader range of systemic arteries.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1209-1211
StatePublished - 2011
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 5


  • Anisotropy, Stress, Elastin, Biomechanics, Collagen
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