Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Extracellular Matrix Remodeling

  • Jay D. HumphreyEmail author
  • Marcos Latorre
Part of the Studies in Mechanobiology, Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials book series (SMTEB, volume 23)


Biomechanics is the development, extension, and application of the principles of mechanics for the purposes of understanding better both biology and medicine. Mechanobiology is the study of biological responses of cells to mechanical stimuli. These two fields must be considered together when studying the extracellular matrix of load-bearing tissues and organs, particularly, how the matrix is established, maintained, remodeled, and repaired. In this chapter, we will illustrate a few of the myriad aspects of matrix biology and mechanics by focusing on the arterial wall. All three primary cell types of the arterial wall are exquisitely sensitive to changes in their mechanical environment and, together, they work to establish and promote mechanical homeostasis, loss of which results in diverse pathologies, some of which have life threatening consequences. There is, therefore, a pressing need to understand better the intricate inter-relations between the biomechanics and the mechanobiology of arteries and so too for many other tissues and organs.


Growth Remodeling Adaptation Mixture theory Matrix turnover 



This work was supported, in part, by current grants from the US National Institutes of Health: R01 HL086418 on abdominal aortic aneurysms, R01 HL105297 on arterial stiffening in hypertension and aging, U01 HL116323 on aortic dissection, R01 HL128602 and R01 HL139796 on tissue engineered vascular grafts, and P01 HL134605 on thoracic aortic aneurysms. We acknowledge Dr. M. R. Bersi for his outstanding experimental work, upon which many of the simulations herein were based. Finally, we acknowledge the many, many authors who have contributed so much to our general understanding of tissue mechanics over the years. In order to reduce the length of this work, we have cited primarily our own papers, in which copious references can be found of others’ work, particularly in the many review articles and books that are cited.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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