Elastin and collagen are dominant passive load bearing proteins in the artery wall. An accepted hypothesis is that during extension of the vessel, the highly distensible elastin bears most of the load at low stretch, while increasing amounts of the less distensible medial collagen fibers uncrimp and thus bear increasing load as the overall tissue stretch increases [1]. Whether or not the collagen fibers are gradually recruited beginning at an infinitesimal stretch or at a finite stretch remains unresolved.

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