Ascending thoracic aortic aneurysm (ATAA) can be asymptomatic for many years, but it can also result in a patient’s death if not acted upon early. The cost to surgically act upon an ATAA has a very high risk. Thus, an accurate assessment of ATAA failure risk is a major clinical need. To find evidence of patients with ATAA risks, biomarkers may be used to predict the abnormality. These biomarkers include geometrical, genetic, microstructural, and biofluids information. To obtain this data, experimental and computational models are used. This paper reports experimental data for 3-month-old male and female mutant mice that are a model of ATAA associated with Marfan syndrome and corresponding control wild type mice. The results include the unloaded diameter and lengths of different segments of the aorta, the thickness of the aortic wall, the diameter change of the aorta with pressure, and circumferential stress versus stretch plots. From statistical analysis, we found that ascending and superior abdominal aorta are significantly different according to genotype and by sex, for the diameter increase due to pressure. However, further experiments are required to statistically analyze the descending and inferior abdominal aorta. Lastly, the stretch ratio vs. stress graphs indicates trends of a higher Young’s Modulus in mutant mice with Marfan syndrome than wild type mice. This suggests that the stresses experienced by the aorta in the mutant mice are higher than wild type mice.

Document Type

Final Report

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering and Material Sciences Independent Study

Date of Submission