Thoracic aortic dissections are associated with a significant risk of morbidity and mortality, and currently challenge our understanding of the biomechanical factors leading to their initiation and propagation. We quantified the biaxial mechanical properties of human type A dissections (n = 16) and modeled the stress–strain data using a microstructurally motivated form of strain energy function. Our results show significantly higher stiffness for dissected tissues as compared to control aorta without arterial disease. Higher stiffness of dissected tissues did not, however, correlate with greater aortic diameter measured prior to surgery nor were there any age dependent differences in the tissue properties.

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