Arteries display highly nonlinear, anisotropic material behavior and can be considered to be a layered composite of fiber oriented materials composed of three layers: intima, media and adventitia. The intima does not affect the material properties of the artery. Thus, the mechanical properties of an artery result from the combined interaction of the media and adventitia with each layer displaying different material properties. It has been widely accepted that atherosclerosis changes the material properties of the arterial wall. However, little experimental data exists relating the properties of the media and adventitia of atherosclerotic vessels to the overall properties of the artery. Knowledge of the properties of human atherosclerotic tissues is essential for an improved understanding the effects of atherosclerosis and also for creating more accurate computational models for predicting the effects of the disease [1]. A prior study of bovine carotid arteries determined the properties of the adventitia and media using a deductive method [2]. This paper focuses on directly measuring and comparing the stiffness of paired samples of adventitia, media and full thickness specimens from human atherosclerotic carotid arteries.

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