Authors

Abstract

Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality globally. Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory CVD associated with the accumulation of plaque activated by the complex interactions between systemic, hemodynamic and biological factors. Thus, identification of plaque vulnerability is essential for the prevention of acute events and treatment of the disease. Despite, advanced imaging technologies, patient-specific computational simulations and availability of experimental data, there are still challenges in developing accurate risk stratification techniques. Therefore, this study aims to characterize the carotid plaque components structurally (histological analysis and immunostaining), mechanically (Nanoindentation tests) and chemically (Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) micro-spectroscopy). The preliminary results showed that arterial remodelling is a dynamic interaction between mechanical forces and plaque progression. The biological content and composition of human atherosclerotic plaque tissue have been shown to significantly influence the mechanical response of samples. This data represents a step towards an enhanced understanding of the behaviour of human atherosclerotic plaque. Future large-scale experimental studies with more cross-sections along the length of the plaque could be used to develop a risk stratification technique.

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