Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Mechanics of aortic dissection

The mechanical events in the wall leading to aortic dissection are not well described because merely stating that cellular or biopolymer connections have weakened does not predict the path of the rupture through the media or the risk of rupture. Elucidate the mechanical role of substructures such as collagen fibers, elastin sheets, smooth muscle cells and interstitial fluid in the progression of dissection. Study in animal models whether crack propagation in the aortic wall requires circumferential shearing within the wall in conjunction with compression from blood pressure. Focus on crack propagation in the media rather than crack initiation at the intima.

Tags (Keywords associated with the idea)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

While in recent years the lives of patients with aortic dissection have increasingly been saved, an understanding of the mechanisms involved might suggest new techniques to increase the percentage who survive aortic dissection.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Knowing the mechanisms involved in dissection is more important than attempting to determine and measure some critical rupture stress because of the large differences between specimen aortas within a given species.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Henry W. Haslach, Jr.

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Idea No. 676