Computational evaluation of an extra-aortic elastic-wrap applied to simulated aging anisotropic human aorta models

Christian Legerer, Zakaria A. Almsherqi, Socrates Dokos, Craig S. McLachlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Structural changes occurring to the aortic wall can result in vascular stiffening. This is represented by a loss of vascular compliance during pulsatile flow, resulting in increased systolic and pulse blood pressure, particularly in populations aged 50 and over. Aortic stiffness is thought to be permanent and an active de-stiffening strategy is yet to be developed. Extra aortic elastic wrapping has been proposed as a surgical technique to boost aortic distensibility and treat hypertension in the elderly. Previously, in-vivo and in-vitro testing have suggested a pulse-pressure reduction potential of elastic wrapping in the stiffened aortas. Herein, we explore the feasibility of elastic aortic wrapping to improve simulated aortic compliance across the age span. Detailed computational studies of the anisotropic aortic wall mechanics, using data from human subjects, were performed, evaluating key performance properties for the interaction between the aortic wall and elastic aortic wrap procedure. Main determinants of the procedure’s efficiency are identified using a pre-defined aortic stiffness and wrap elasticity. Finite element analysis predicts that segmental aortic distensibility can be increased if elastic wrapping is applied to a simulated stiff aorta. Elastic aortic wrapping is calculated to have little impact on the compliance of an initially distensible aorta.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20109
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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