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Chris Korenczuk

Aneurysms are a prevalent cardiovascular pathology characterized by dilation in blood vessel diameter along with a weakening and stiffening of the vessel wall. Ascending thoracic aortic aneurysms (ATAAs) pose a serious risk, as aneurysm dissection or rupture can be life-threatening. Current diagnostic techniques for surgical intervention are ineffective in capturing the risk of ATAAs, as they rely solely on measuring vessel diameter during growth, neglecting evident heterogeneous structural changes that contribute significantly to failure methods. A better characterization of ATAA mechanical behaviors and failure mechanisms is crucial in developing stronger diagnostic resources. Our research utilizes both experimental testing and computational modeling to approach this problem. ATAA tissue obtained from surgery is mechanically tested in multiple loading configurations (biaxial, uniaxial, lap, and peel) and orientations (axial and circumferential) to elucidate tissue properties and response (Fig 1D-F). In tandem, patient specific multiscale modeling techniques are also used to simulate tissue behavior (Fig 1A-C). ATAA experimental data, coupled with computation modeling, provides a platform by which ATAAs can be more accurately quantified and better understood.