Rupture of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is currently the 13th leading cause of death in the US and represents a mechanical failure of the diseased aortic wall. Therefore, accurate estimation of the wall stress distribution in AAA may be a clinically useful tool to predict their risk of rupture [1]. A necessary precursor to an accurate stress analysis is an appropriate representation of the constitutive behavior of the AAA wall. Many previous biomechanical analyses of AAA have employed a linearly elastic constitutive behavior [2,3]. However, we have shown that the AAA wall is nonlinearly elastic [4] and undergoes large strain in-vivo [5]. With this as motivation, we recently developed an isotropic, nonlinearly elastic, large strain constitutive model for AAA wall based on uniaxial tensile testing data [6]. The assumption of isotropy was not validated, however. Utilization of an isotropic material symmetry in models of anisotropic structures may lead to significant errors in stress distribution [7]. Indeed, experiments suggest that the nonaneurysmal aorta is anisotropic (orthotropic) [8,9], but the material symmetry of AAA is not presently known. Moreover, most of the previous work investigating the material symmetry of aorta has been performed on animal tissue. To evaluate the anisotropy of aortic tissue, biaxial experimentation is necessary. There has been very little published work involving the biaxial experimentation of human aortic tissue, and none for AAA tissue. We present here a preliminary evaluation of the biaxial mechanical behavior of human aneurysmal and nonaneurysmal abdominal aorta.

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