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Evaluation of fundamental hypotheses underlying constrained mixture models of arterial growth and remodelling. (English) Zbl 1185.74069
Summary: Evolving constituent composition and organization are important determinants of the biomechanical behaviour of soft tissues. In arteries, vascular smooth muscle cells and fibroblasts continually produce and degrade matrix constituents in preferred modes and at altered rates in response to changing mechanical stimuli. Smooth muscle cells similarly exhibit vasoactive changes that contribute to the control of overall structure, function and mechanical behaviour. Constrained mixture models provide a useful framework in which to quantify arterial growth and remodelling for they can account for cell-mediated changes in individual structurally significant constituents. Our simulations show that the combined effects of changing mass density turnover and vasoactivity, as well as the prestretch at which constituents are incorporated within extant matrix, are essential to capture salient features of bounded arterial growth and remodelling. These findings emphasize the importance of formulating biologically motivated constitutive relations in any theory of growth and remodelling and distinct advantages of the constrained mixture approach, in particular.

MSC:
74L15 Biomechanical solid mechanics
92C30 Physiology (general)
92C35 Physiological flow
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