Abstract

Portions of coronary and other blood vessels undergo cyclic bending due to attachment to the heart or crossing of joints [1,4,9]. Bending of a vascular segment alters the local transmural stresses and strains [5,13] as well as the shear stresses acting on the endothelial surface [8,11]. Fluctuations in both shear stress and in-plane stretch have been shown to influence endothelial cell and smooth muscle cell biology [12]. The purpose of the present work was to create a model to expose perfused, intact vascular segments to cyclic bending in-vitro. Such a system would enable the assessment of the biologic response of vascular tissue to combined alterations in transmural stress and shear stress produced by cyclic bending.

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