Author(s): Lu J, Duan W, Qiao A
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Intraplaque hemorrhage is a widely known factor facilitating plaque instability. Neovascularization of plaque can be regarded as a compensatory response to the blood supply in the deep intimal and medial areas of the artery. Due to the physiological function, the deformation of carotid atherosclerotic plaque would happen under the action of blood pressure and blood flow. Neovessels are subject to mechanical loading and likely undergo deformation. The rupture of neovessels may deteriorate the instability of plaque. This study focuses on the local mechanical environments around neovessels and investigates the relationship between the biomechanics and the morphological specificity of neovessels. METHODS: Stress and stretch were used to evaluate the rupture risk of the neovessels in plaque. Computational structural analysis was performed based on two human carotid plaque slice samples. Two-dimensional models containing neovessels and other components were built according to the plaque slice samples. Each component was assumed to be non-linear isotropic, piecewise homogeneous and incompressible. Different mechanical boundary conditions, i.e. static pressures, were imposed in the carotid lumen and neovessels lumen respectively. Finite element method was used to simulate the mechanical conditions in the atherosclerotic plaque. RESULTS: Those neovessels closer to the carotid lumen undergo larger stress and stretch. With the same distance to the carotid lumen, the longer the perimeter of neovessels is, the larger stress and the deformation of the neovessels will be. Under the same conditions, the neovessels with larger curvature suffer greater stress and stretch. Neovessels surrounded by red blood cells undergo a much larger stretch. CONCLUSIONS: Local mechanical conditions may result in the hemorrhage of neovessels and accelerate the rupture of plaque. The mechanical environments of the neovessel are related to its shape, curvature, distance to the carotid lumen and the material properties of plaque.
This article was published in Biomed Eng Online
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals