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      Assessing the Homogeneity of the Elastic Properties and Composition of the Pig Aortic Media

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          Most previous studies of arterial wall elasticity and rheology have assumed that the properties of the wall are uniform across the thickness of the media and, therefore, that the relationship between stress and strain may be described by a constitutive equation based on a single strain energy function. The few studies where this assumption has been questioned, focussed on differences between the adventitia and the media rather than on differences within the media itself. Here, we report in vitro elasticity and residual strain measurements performed separately on the inner and outer half of the pig aortic media, together with a histomorphometric assessment of the radial distribution of elastin, collagen and smooth muscle cell numbers. Although we found that the pressure-diameter relationships of the two halves were dissimilar, when allowance was made for their different unloaded dimensions, their material properties agreed closely, a result in keeping with the observed uniform radial distribution of scleroprotein and vascular smooth muscle. We also found a difference in the opening angle (which is often taken as a measure of residual strain) between the inner and outer medial halves. However, strain analysis showed that the opening angle is an extremely sensitive measure of residual strain and that the difference in the actual magnitudes of residual strain between the two halves of the media was small. We conclude that the media of the porcine thoracic aorta has similar elastic properties throughout its thickness and that this uniformity is matched by a uniform distribution of matrix protein and vascular smooth muscle cells. Furthermore, the distribution of strain in the media can adequately be described by a single-layer model with uniform elastic properties throughout its thickness.

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          Most cited references 3

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          Developmental Biology of the Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell: Building a Multilayered Vessel Wall

          The assembly of the vessel wall from its cellular and extracellular matrix components is a critical process in the development and maturation of the cardiovascular system. However, fundamental questions concerning the origin of vessel wall cells and the mechanisms that regulate their development and differentiation remain unanswered. The initial step of vessel wall morphogenesis is formation of a primary vascular network, comprised of nascent endothelial cell tubes, via the processes of vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. Subsequently, primordial vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are recruited to the endothelium to form a multilayered vessel wall. During the course of development and maturation, the VSMC plays diverse roles: it is a biosynthetic, proliferative, and contractile component of the vessel wall. Although the field of vascular development has blossomed in the past decade, the molecules and mechanisms that regulate this developmental pathway are not well defined. The focus of this review is on those facets of VSMC development important for transforming a nascent endothelial tube into a multilayered structure. We discuss the primordial VSMC with particular attention to its purported origins, the components of the extracellular milieu that contribute to its development, and the contribution of embryonic hemodynamics to vessel wall assembly.
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            Theoretical Study of the Effects of Vascular Smooth Muscle Contraction on Strain and Stress Distributions in Arteries

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              A layered cylindrical shell model for an aorta


                Author and article information

                J Vasc Res
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                June 2001
                25 May 2001
                : 38
                : 3
                : 237-246
                aBiomedical Engineering Laboratory, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, Switzerland; bInstitute of Mechanics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria; cDepartment of Histopathology and Morbid Anatomy, St. Bartholomew’s and The Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK
                51052 J Vasc Res 2001;38:237–246
                © 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 7, Tables: 1, References: 28, Pages: 10
                Research Paper


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