Estimating arterial cyclic strain from the spacing of endothelial nuclei

Rowland, E. M., Bailey, E. L. and Weinberg, P. D. (2021) Estimating arterial cyclic strain from the spacing of endothelial nuclei. Experimental Mechanics, 61, pp. 171-190. (doi: 10.1007/s11340-020-00655-9) (PMCID:PMC7116634)

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Background: The non-uniform distribution of atherosclerosis within the arterial system is widely attributed to variation in haemodynamic wall shear stress. It may also depend on variation in pressure-induced stresses and strains within the arterial wall; these have been less widely investigated, at least in part because of a lack of suitable techniques. Objectives: Here we show that local arterial strain can be determined from impressions left by endothelial cells on the surface of vascular corrosion casts made at different pressures, even though only one pressure can be examined in each vessel. The pattern of pits in the cast caused by protruding endothelial nuclei was subject to “retro-deformation” to identify the pattern that would have occurred in the absence of applied stresses. Methods: Retaining the nearest-neighbour pairs found under this condition, changes in nearest-neighbour vectors were calculated for the pattern seen in the cast, and the ratio of mean changes at different pressures determined. This approach removes errors in simple nearest-neighbour analyses caused by the nearest neighbour changing as deformation occurs. Results: The accuracy, precision and robustness of the approach were validated using simulations. The method was implemented using confocal microscopy of casts of the rabbit aorta made at systolic and diastolic pressures; results agreed well with the ratio of the macroscopic dimensions of the casts. Conclusions: Applying the new technique to areas around arterial branches could support or refute the hypothesis that the development of atherosclerosis is influenced by mural strain, and the method may be applicable to other tissues.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This research was supported by a British Heart Foundation Programme Grant (RG/11/5/28743) and a PhD studentship from the BHF-funded Centre of Research Excellence at Imperial College London (RE/08/002).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bailey, Dr Emma
Authors: Rowland, E. M., Bailey, E. L., and Weinberg, P. D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences
Journal Name:Experimental Mechanics
ISSN (Online):1741-2765
Published Online:09 September 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Experimental Mechanics 61:171–190
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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