Mechanics-driven mechanobiological mechanisms of arterial tortuosity

Dar Weiss, Cristina Cavinato, Authia Gray, Abhay B. Ramachandra, Stephane Avril, Jay D. Humphrey, Marcos Latorre
2020 Science Advances  
Arterial tortuosity manifests in many conditions, including hypertension, genetic mutations predisposing to thoracic aortopathy, and vascular aging. Despite evidence that tortuosity disrupts efficient blood flow and that it may be an important clinical biomarker, underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood but are widely appreciated to be largely biomechanical. Many previous studies suggested that tortuosity may arise via an elastic structural buckling instability, but the novel
more » ... novel experimental-computational approach used here suggests that tortuosity arises from mechanosensitive, cell-mediated responses to local aberrations in the microstructural integrity of the arterial wall. In particular, computations informed by multimodality imaging show that aberrations in elastic fiber integrity, collagen alignment, and collagen turnover can lead to a progressive loss of structural stability that entrenches during the development of tortuosity. Interpreted in this way, microstructural defects or irregularities of the arterial wall initiate the condition and hypertension is a confounding factor.
doi:10.1126/sciadv.abd3574 pmid:33277255 fatcat:vk6n2nn54vcjlk2qhgjk5epmfe