How to Incorporate Collagen Fibers Orientations in an Arterial Bifurcation ?

I. Hariton, G. deBotton (Israel), T.C. Gasser, and G.A. Holzapfel (Sweden)


carotid bifurcation, collagen fibers, finite element, finite elasticity


In the present work a model of the human carotid bifur cation is generated based on a new methodology for the incorporation of collagen fiber orientation within a blood vessel. The arterial tissue is modelled as an incompressible hyperelastic material reinforced by two families of colla gen fibers. Following [1], the corresponding strain-energy function is formulated in terms of invariants, including the pseudo-invariants of the right Cauchy-Green tensor and the vectors describing the direction of the associated fibers. It is hypothesized that the two families of the collagen fibers are embedded in the plane spanned by the two prin cipal directions corresponding to the two largest principal Cauchy stresses. The two families of fibers are symmetri cally aligned with respect to the principal direction of the largest Principal Cauchy stress. Our findings indicate that according to the anisotropic model the distribution of the stresses is smoother but the stresses in the apex are higher due to the collagen reinforcement.

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