Arteries exhibit significant residual stresses, most notably demonstrated by the tendency of rings of arterial wall to open when cut radially [1, 2]. Residual stresses play an important role in the identification of appropriate reference configurations, and hence the definition of stresses and strains in the tissue; they are also important in vascular growth, remodeling and disease [3–5]. Though it has been suggested that elastin appears to be primarily responsible for residual stresses in arteries [6], no explicit mechanism has been described to date which can explain how these residual stresses might be induced, and why they might vary along the length of arteries such as the aorta.

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