Femoropopliteal artery (FPA) mechanics play a paramount role in pathophysiology and the artery’s response to therapeutic interventions, but data on FPA mechanical properties are scarce. Our goal was to characterize human FPAs over a wide population to derive a constitutive description of FPA aging to be used for computational modeling. Fresh human FPA specimens (\(n=579\)) were obtained from \(n=351\) predominantly male (80 %) donors 54±15 years old (range 13–82 years). Morphometric characteristics including radius, wall thickness, opening angle, and longitudinal pre-stretch were recorded. Arteries were subjected to multi-ratio planar biaxial extension to determine constitutive parameters for an invariant-based model accounting for the passive contributions of ground substance, elastin, collagen, and smooth muscle. Nonparametric bootstrapping was used to determine unique sets of material parameters that were used to derive age-group-specific characteristics. Physiologic stress–stretch state was calculated to capture changes with aging. Morphometric and constitutive parameters were derived for seven age groups. Vessel radius, wall thickness, and circumferential opening angle increased with aging, while longitudinal pre-stretch decreased (\(p<0.01\)). Age-group-specific constitutive parameters portrayed orthotropic FPA stiffening, especially in the longitudinal direction. Structural changes in artery wall elastin were associated with reduction of physiologic longitudinal and circumferential stretches and stresses with age. These data and the constitutive description of FPA aging shed new light on our understanding of peripheral arterial disease pathophysiology and arterial aging. Application of this knowledge might improve patient selection for specific treatment modalities in personalized, precision medicine algorithms and could assist in device development for treatment of peripheral artery disease.
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Research reported in this publication was supported in part by the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers R01 HL125736 and F32 HL124905. The authors also wish to acknowledge the Nebraska Organ Recovery System (NORS), the Charles and Mary Heider Fund for Excellence in Vascular Surgery, and the MARC U*STAR Program for their help and support.
Funding This study was supported in part by the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers R01 HL125736 and F32 HL124905.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Alexey Kamenskiy and Andreas Seas have contributed equally.
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Kamenskiy, A., Seas, A., Deegan, P. et al. Constitutive description of human femoropopliteal artery aging. Biomech Model Mechanobiol 16, 681–692 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10237-016-0845-7
- Femoropopliteal artery
- Mechanical properties
- Biaxial testing
- Constitutive modeling
- Peripheral artery disease