*Corresponding author:Dr. Hadi Mohammadi, PEng, School of Engineering, Faculty of Applied Science, University of British Columbia, Okanagan, Kelowna, BC, Canada, V1V 1V7
Received: April 06, 2018; Published: April 16, 2018
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Atherosclerotic plaques are highly heterogeneous, nonlinear materials with uncharacteristic structural behaviors. It is well known that mechanics of atherosclerotic plaques significantly depend on plaque geometry, location, composition, and loading conditions. Computational studies have shown great potential to characterize this mechanical behavior. Different types of plaque morphologies and mechanical properties have been used in a computational platform to estimate the stability of rupture-prone plaques and detect their locations. In this study, we hypothesize that heart rate (HR) is also one of the major factors that should be taken into account while mechanics of plaques is studied. We propose a tunable viscoelastic constitutive material model for the fibrous cap tissue in order to calculate the peak cap stress (PCS) in normal physiological (dynamic) conditions while HR changes from 60 bpm to 150 bpm in 2D plane stress models. A critical discussion on stress distribution in the fibrous cap area is made with respect to HR for the first time. Results strongly suggest the viscoelastic properties of the fibrous cap tissue and HR together play a major role in the estimation of the PCS values. The results of current study may provide a better understanding on the mechanics of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques.
Keywords: Atherosclerotic plaque; Plaque vulnerability; Plaque Instability; Pulsatile flow; Finite Element Method; Viscoelasticity; Heart Rate
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