, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 163-175

Stress-driven collagen fiber remodeling in arterial walls

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A stress-driven model for the relation between the collagen morphology and the loading conditions in arterial walls is proposed. We assume that the two families of collagen fibers in arterial walls are aligned along preferred directions, located between the directions of the two maximal principal stresses. For the determination of these directions an iterative finite element based procedure is developed. As an example the remodeling of a section of a human common carotid artery is simulated. We find that the predicted fiber morphology correlates well with experimental observations. Interesting outcomes of the model including local shear minimization and the possibility of axial compressions due to high blood pressure are revealed and discussed.

In memory of Zinaida Hariton, 1926–2002