A cell-based mechanical model of coronary artery tunica media.


A three-dimensional cell-based mechanical model of coronary artery tunica media is proposed. The model is composed of spherical cells forming a hexagonal close-packed lattice. Tissue anisotropy is taken into account by varying interaction forces with the direction of intercellular connection. Several cell-centre interaction potentials for repulsion and attraction are considered, including the Hertz contact model and its neo-Hookean extension, the Johnson-Kendall-Roberts model of adhesive contact, and a wormlike chain model. The model is validated against data from in vitro uni-axial tension tests performed on dissected strips of tunica media. The wormlike chain potential in combination with the neo-Hookean Hertz contact model produces stress-stretch curves which represent the experimental data very well.

Journal of the Royal Society, Interface