Aneurysms of ascending aorta are dilatation of the first part of the human aorta. They commonly show no clinical symptoms. This condition increases the risk of aorta dissection, which is a life-threatening condition. In this study we attempted to elucidate the changes in the biomechanical properties that occur in the dilated human ascending aorta. Fourteen specimens of ascending aorta wall were mechanically tested under a uniaxial tensile test. Two specimens from each ascending aorta anterior region were cut in longitudinal and circumferential directions. The samples were stretched until rupture of the sample occurred. The obtained experimental data were processed to determine maximal stress, maximal strain and the tangential modulus of elasticity in the linear part of the stress-strain curve. The obtained results showed a remarkable anisotropy of the ascending aorta tissue. We found higher strength of the tissue in the circumferential direction than in the longitudinal direction. There were no statistically significant differences between the strains of the samples. Tangential modulus of elasticity of the aortic samples in the longitudinal direction was significantly lower than the elastic modulus of the samples in the circumferential direction. The tissue in the circumferential direction is stronger and stiffer than in the longitudinal direction.
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