Skip to Content

College of Engineering and Computing

Biomedical Engineering

Biomechanics of Arterial Tissue Failure at Multiple Length Scales

The objective of this research project is to advance our understanding of mechanical failure mechanisms in arterial tissue, focusing on atherosclerotic plaque failure and arterial dissection. Arterial tissue has structural similarities to fiber-reinforced composite materials used for engineering applications. In this project, theoretical and analytical approaches developed to describe failure of reinforced composites will be extended to interpret the results of experimental studies of plaque failure in atherosclerotic mice. The research will combine experimental studies of the structure and biochemistry of the interface between tissue layers in atherosclerotic mouse arteries with development of theoretical and computational models of delamination mechanisms at both macroscopic and microscopic length scales.


  • X. Leng, X. Chen, X. Deng, M. A. Sutton, S. M. Lessner, “Modeling of Experimental Atherosclerotic Plaque Delamination,” Ann. Biomed. Eng. (2015), on-line ahead of print 6/23/15.
  • Y. Wang, J. A. Johnson, F. G. Spinale, M. A. Sutton, and S. M. Lessner, "Quantitative Measurement of Dissection Resistance in Intimal and Medial Layers of Human Coronary Arteries," Exp. Mech., 54, 677–683 (2014).
  • Y. Wang, J. A. Johnson, A. Fulp, M. A. Sutton, and S. M. Lessner, “Adhesive Strength of Atherosclerotic Plaque in a Mouse Model Depends on Local Collagen Content and Elastin Fragmentation,” J. Biomech., 46, 716–722 (2013).

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.