Accurate modeling of arterial elasticity is imperative for predicting pulsatile blood flow and transport to the periphery, and for evaluating the mechanical microenvironment of the vessel wall. The goal of the present study is to compare a recently developed structural model of porcine left anterior descending artery media to two commonly used typical representatives of phenomenological and structure-motivated invariant-based models, in terms of the number of model parameters, model descriptive and predictive powers, and requisite different test protocols for reliable parameter estimation. The three models were compared against 3D data of radial inflation, axial extension, and twist tests. Also checked are the models predictive capabilities to response data not used for estimation, including both tests outside the range of estimation database, as well as protocols of a different nature. The results show that the descriptive estimation error (model fit to estimation database), measured by the sum of squared residuals (SSE) between full 3D data and model predictions, was about twice as low for the structural (4.58%) model compared to the other two (9.71 and 8.99% for the phenomenological and structure-motivated models, respectively). Similar SSE ratios were obtained for the predictive capabilities. Prediction SSE at high stretch based on estimation of two low stretches yielded an SSE value of 2.81% for the structural model, and 10.54% and 7.87% for the phenomenological and structure-motivated models, respectively. For the prediction of twist from inflation-extension data, SSE values for the torsional stiffness was 1.76% for the structural model and 39.62 and 2.77% for the phenomenological and structure-motivated models. The required number of model parameters for the structural model is four, whereas the phenomenological model requires six to nine and the structure-motivated has four parameters. These results suggest that modeling based on the tissue structural features improves model reliability in describing given data and in predicting the tissue general response.

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