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Measurement of coronary artery stiffness

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Ms Helen Gardner.

There are two clinical areas where models of arterial stiffness have a clear role. Firstly blood pressure in the arterial tree is strongly influenced by changes in the diameter of the arteries, and high blood pressure is strongly linked with increased mortality. Secondly strokes are commonly caused by rupture of arteries, due presumably to excessive stress in the artery (as well as physiological changes). To understand these phenomena we need to understand the roles of active muscular tone and passive biomechanical response to loading in controlling the artery diameter and stresses. While there is a lot of effort being put separately into the pharmacological behaviour and the mechanical behaviour of arteries, rather little research aims to link the two. Moreover the bioengineering focus has largely been on healthy arteries. This talk will describe work done on mechanical and pharmacological measurement of arterial stiffness of healthy and diseased coronary arteries. The challenges include the small scale of the specimens, their complex structure, difficulties with handling and data interpretation.

This talk is part of the Engineering - Mechanics and Materials Seminar Series series.

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