, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 409-416

Evaluating the mechanical behavior of arterial tissue using digital image correlation

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In this study, digital image correlation (DIC) was adopted to examine the mechanical behavior of arterial tissue from bovine aorta. Rectangular sections comprised of the intimal and medial layers were excised from the descending aorta and loaded in displacement control uniaxial tension up to 40 percent elongation. Specimens of silicon rubber sheet were also prepared and served as a benchmark material in the application of DIC for the evaluation of large strains; the elastomer was loaded to 50 percent elongation. The arterial specimens exhibited a non-linear hyperelastic stress-strain response and the stiffness increased with percent elongation. Using a bilinear model to describe the uniaxial behavior, the average minor and major elastic modulii were 192±8 KPa and 912±40 KPa, respectively. Poisson's ratio of the arterial sections increased with the magnitude of axial strain; the average Poisson's ratio was 0.17±0.02. Although the correlation coefficient obtained from image correlation decreased with the percent elongation, a correlation coefficient greater than 0.8 was achieved for the tissue experiments and exceeded that obtained in the evaluation of the elastomer. Based on results from this study, DIC may serve as a valuable method for the determination of mechanical properties of arteries and other soft tissues.