The no-load configuration of a living organ is, in general, not the zero-stress state. The difference can be revealed by cutting up an unloaded organ to such an extent that the stress becomes zero in the tissue everywhere. For the aorta, it is shown that the configuration of the zero-stress state differs considerably from being a cylindrical tube. It is, in fact, an open sector with opening angles varying along the arterial tree. This article presents data on the zero-stress state in the arteries of the rat in normal condition.

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