Distribution of shear stress over smooth muscle cells in deformable arterial wall

Department of Energy and Environmental Technology, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland.
Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing (Impact Factor: 1.5). 08/2008; 46(7):649-57. DOI: 10.1007/s11517-008-0338-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A biphasic, anisotropic model of the deformable aortic wall in combination with computational fluid dynamics is used to investigate the variation of shear stress over smooth muscle cells (SMCs) with transmural pressure. The media layer is modeled as a porous medium consisting of SMCs and a homogeneous porous medium of interstitial fluid and elastin, collagen and proteoglycans fibers. Interstitial fluid enters the media through fenestral pores, which are distributed over the internal elastic lamina (IEL). The IEL is considered as an impermeable barrier to fluid flow except at fenestral pores. The thickness and the radius of aortic wall vary with transmural pressure ranging from 10 to 180 mm Hg. It is assumed that SMCs are cylinders with a circular cross section at 0 mm Hg. As the transmural pressure increases, SMCs elongate with simultaneous change of cross sectional shape into ellipse according to the strain field in the media. Results demonstrate that the variation of shear stress within the media layer is significantly dependent on the configuration and cross sectional shape of SMCs. In the staggered array of SMCs, the shear stress over the first SMC nearest to the IEL is about 2.2 times lower than that of the square array. The shear stress even over the second nearest SMC to the IEL is considerably higher (about 15%) in the staggered array. In addition to configuration and cross sectional shape of SMCs, the variation of structural properties of the media layer with pressure and the sensitivity of the local shear stress to the minimum distance between SMCs and the IEL (reducing with transmural pressure) between SMCs and the IEL are studied. At 180 mm Hg, the ratio of the local shear stress of the nearest SMC to that of the second nearest SMC is 4.8 in the square array, whereas it reduces to about 1.8 in the staggered array. The importance of the fluid shear stress is associated with its role in the biomolecular state of smooth muscle cells bearing the shear stress.

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