Ruptured atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid artery are the main cause of stroke (70–80%). To prevent it, carotid endarterectomy is the procedure of choice in patients with a recent symptomatic 70–99% stenosis. Today, the selection of candidates is based on stenosis size only. However, endarterectomy is beneficial for only 1 out of 6 patients [1], the patients with unstable plaques (Fig. 1). Knowledge of mechanical properties of different components in the atherosclerotic arteries is important, because it will allow the identification of plaque stability at an early stage.

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