Monday, 11 October 2004 - 10:30 AM

This presentation is part of : Rajagopal Symposium

Computational modeling of finite volumetric growth in blood vessels

Jia Lu, Todd A. Petersen, and Madhavan L. Raghavan. University of Iowa, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Center for Computer Aided Design, 2137 Seamans Center, Iowa City, IA 52242

Growth of soft tissues is a fundamental process that occurs in normal development as well as in pathological conditions. It is known for years that mechanical stress can modulate tissue growth. Artery walls, for example, respond to sustained hypertension by enlarging the lumen and increasing the wall thickness. In general, adaptive growth plays an important role in regulating the functions of living organs.

We simulated the coupled stress-growth motion of blood vessels using finite element methods. The simulation is based a plasticity-like theory for tissue growth. It is assumed that the growth is a function solely of the stress state at a material point in the continuum. The growth will initiate once a tissue-determined equilibrium stress is exceeded. The local growth will occur along fiber directions, and develop so that the transmural stress distribution of the blood vessel will be mostly uniform for in vivo blood pressures. Qualitative comparisons are made between these simulations and what is known experimentally about the physiological behavior of blood vessels. In particular, Fung’s opening angle experiments is replicated via simulation. Selection of model parameters is discussed.

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