, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 915-927
Date: 16 Nov 2012

Twist buckling behavior of arteries

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Arteries are often subjected to torsion due to body movement and surgical procedures. While it is essential that arteries remain stable and patent under twisting loads, the stability of arteries under torsion is poorly understood. The goal of this work was to experimentally investigate the buckling behavior of arteries under torsion and to determine the critical buckling torque, the critical buckling twist angle, and the buckling shape. Porcine common carotid arteries were slowly twisted in vitro until buckling occurred while subjected to a constant axial stretch ratio (1.1, 1.3, 1.5 (in vivo level) and 1.7) and lumen pressure (20, 40, 70 and 100 mmHg). Upon buckling, the arteries snapped to form a kink. For a group of six arteries, the axial stretch ratio significantly affected the critical buckling torque ( \(p<0.002\) ) and the critical buckling twist angle ( \(p<0.001\) ). Lumen pressure also significantly affected the critical buckling torque ( \(p<0.001\) ) but had no significant effect on the critical twist angle ( \(p=0.067\) ). Convex material constants for a Fung strain energy function were determined and fit well with the axial force, lumen pressure, and torque data measured pre-buckling. The material constants are valid for axial stretch ratios, lumen pressures, and rotation angles of 1.3–1.5, 20–100 mmHg, and 0–270 \(^\circ \) , respectively. The current study elucidates the buckling behavior of arteries under torsion and provides new insight into mechanical instability of blood vessels.