Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 1709–1730 | Cite as

Failure damage mechanical properties of thoracic and abdominal porcine aorta layers and related constitutive modeling: phenomenological and microstructural approach

  • Juan A. Peña
  • Miguel A. Martínez
  • Estefanía PeñaEmail author
Original Paper


Despite increasing experimental and analytical efforts to investigate the irreversible effects of arterial tissue failure, the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. The goal of this study was to characterize the failure properties of the intact wall and each separated layer (intima, media, and adventitia) of the descending thoracic and infrarenal abdominal aorta and to test the hypothesis that the failure properties of layer-separated tissue depend on the location of the aorta. To test this hypothesis, we performed uniaxial tests to study the mechanical behavior of both intact and layer-separated porcine aortic tissue samples taken from descending thoracic and infrarenal abdominal aorta until complete failure. The fracture stress is higher in the infrarenal abdominal aorta than in the equivalent descending thoracic aorta. It was also found that the extrapolation of the elastic mechanical properties from the physiological to the supra-physiological regime for characterizing the mechanical response of the aorta would be inappropriate. Finally, we report values of constitutive parameters using phenomenological and microstructural damage models based on continuum damage mechanics theory. The phenomenological damage model gives an excellent fit to the experimental data compared to the microstructural damage model. Although the fitting results of the phenomenological model are better, the microstructural models can include physically motivated aspects obtained from experiments.


Failure properties Damage mechanics Thoracic and abdominal aorta Layer separation 



Financial support for this research was provided by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness through Research Project DPI2016-76630-C2-1-R; the Department of Industry and Innovation (Government of Aragon) through the research group Grant T24-17R (Fondo Social Europeo); and the Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII) through the CIBER initiative. The work was performed by the ICTS “NANBIOSIS” specifically by the Tissue and Scaffold Characterization Unit (U13), of the CIBER in Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN at the University of Zaragoza).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juan A. Peña
    • 1
    • 2
  • Miguel A. Martínez
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Estefanía Peña
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Aragón Institute of Engineering Research (I3A)University of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.Department of Management and Manufacturing Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and ArchitectureUniversity of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  3. 3.CIBER de Bioingeniería, Biomateriales y Nanomedicina (CIBER-BBN)ZaragozaSpain
  4. 4.Mechanical Engineering DepartmentZaragozaSpain

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