Biomechanical characterization of a chronic type a dissected human aorta

Marco Amabili, Goffredo O Arena, Prabakaran Balasubramanian, Ivan D Breslavsky, Raymond Cartier, Giovanni Ferrari, Gerhard A Holzapfel, Ali Kassab, Rosaire Mongrain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aortic dissection is one of the most lethal cardiovascular diseases. A chronic Type A (Stanford) dissected aorta was retrieved for research from a 73-year-old male donor without diagnosed genetic disease. The aorta presented a dissection over the full length, and it reached a diameter of 7.7 cm in its ascending portion. The descending thoracic aorta underwent layer-specific quasi-static and dynamic mechanical characterizations after layer separation. Mechanical tests showed a physiological (healthy) behavior of the intima and some mechanical anomalies of the media and the adventitia. In particular, the static stiffness of both these layers at smaller strains was three times smaller than any one measured for twelve healthy aortas. When the viscoelastic properties were tested, adventitia presented a larger relative increase of the dynamic stiffness at 3 Hz with respect to most of the healthy aortas. The loss factor of the adventitia, which is associated with dissipation, was at the lower limit of those measured for healthy aortas. It seems reasonable to attribute these anomalies of the mechanical properties exhibited by the media and the adventitia to the severe remodeling secondary to the chronic nature of the dissection. However, it cannot be excluded that some of the mechanical anomalies were present before remodeling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109978
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2020


  • Aortic dissection
  • Chronic dissection
  • Hyperelastic material
  • Mechanical characterization
  • Viscoelastic material

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Biomechanical characterization of a chronic type a dissected human aorta'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this