Abstract

Vascular tortuosity may impede blood flow, occlude the lumen, and ultimately lead to ischemia or even infarction. Mechanical loads like blood pressure, axial force, and also torsion are key factors participating in this complex mechanobiological process. The available studies on arterial torsion instability followed computational or experimental approaches, yet single available theoretical study had modeled the artery as isotropic linear elastic. This paper aim is to validate a theoretical model of arterial torsion instability against experimental data. The artery is modeled as a single-layered, nonlinear, hyperelastic, anisotropic solid, with parameters calibrated from experiment. Linear bifurcation analysis is then performed to predict experimentally measured stability margins. Uncertainties in geometrical parameters and in measured mechanical response were considered. Also, the type of rate (incremental) boundary conditions (RBCs) impact on the results was examined (e.g., dead load, fluid pressure). The predicted critical torque and twist angle followed the experimentally measured trends. The closest prediction errors in the critical torque and twist rate were 22% and 67%, respectively. Using the different RBCs incurred differences of up to 50% difference within the model predictions. The present results suggest that the model may require further improvements. However, it offers an approach that can be used to predict allowable twist levels in surgical procedures (like anastomosis and grafting) and in the design of stents for arteries subjected to high torsion levels (like the femoropopliteal arteries). It may also be instructive in understanding biomechanical processes like arterial tortuosity, kinking, and coiling.

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