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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.207 SNIP: 0.376 CiteScore™: 0.79

ISSN 印刷: 0278-940X
ISSN オンライン: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.v29.i3.10
pages 279-302

Viscoelasticity of the Vessel Wall: The Role of Collagen and Elastic Fibers

Frederick H. Silver
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 675 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854
Istvan Horvath
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 675 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854
David J. Foran
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, 675 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854

要約

The aortic wall contains collagen fibrils, smooth muscle cells, and elastic fibers as the primary load-bearing components. It is well known that the collagen fibrils bear loads in the circumferential direction, whereas elastic fibers provide longitudinal as well as circumferential support. Stiffening of the vessel wall is associated with loss of elastic tissue and increases in the collagen content; however, little is known about the mechanism of vessel wall stiffening with age. The purpose of this review is to attempt to relate structural changes that occur to the collagen and elastic fibers to changes in the viscoelastic behavior that are associated with aging. Analysis of the viscoelastic mechanical properties of collagen fibrils from tendon, skin, and aortic wall suggest that the collagen fibrils of aortic wall are different than those of other tissues. The elastic spring constant of the collagen fibrils in vessel walls is significantly less than that found in tendon, suggesting that the presence of type III collagen in aortic wall increases the flexibility of the collagen fibrils. Furthermore, it is hypothesized that changes in the interface between collagen fibrils, elastic fibers, and smooth muscle during aging and in connective tissue disorders leads to changes in the viscoelasticity of the vessel wall.


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