Author(s): Williamson SD, Lam Y, Younis HF, Huang H, Patel S,
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Abstract Accurate estimates of stress in an atherosclerotic lesion require knowledge of the material properties of its components (e.g., normal wall, fibrous plaque, calcified regions, lipid pools) that can only be approximated. This leads to considerable uncertainty in these computational predictions. A study was conducted to test the sensitivity of predicted levels of stress and strain to the parameter values of plaque used in finite element analysis. Results show that the stresses within the arterial wall, fibrous plaque, calcified plaque, and lipid pool have low sensitivities for variation in the elastic modulus. Even a +/- 50\% variation in elastic modulus leads to less than a 10\% change in stress at the site of rupture. Sensitivity to variations in elastic modulus is comparable between isotropic nonlinear, isotropic nonlinear with residual strains, and transversely isotropic linear models. Therefore, stress analysis may be used with confidence that uncertainty in the material properties generates relatively small errors in the prediction of wall stresses. Either isotropic nonlinear or anisotropic linear models provide useful estimates, however the predictions in regions of stress concentration (e.g., the site of rupture) are somewhat more sensitive to the specific model used, increasing by up to 30\% from the isotropic nonlinear to orthotropic model in the present example. Changes resulting from the introduction of residual stresses are much smaller.
This article was published in J Biomech Eng
and referenced in Journal of Lasers, Optics & Photonics