Compressive mechanical properties of the intraluminal thrombus in abdominal aortic aneurysms and fibrin-based thrombus mimics

J Biomech. 2009 Feb 9;42(3):197-201. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2008.10.024. Epub 2008 Dec 5.


An intraluminal thrombus (ILT) forms in the majority of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). While the ILT has traditionally been perceived as a byproduct of aneurysmal disease, the mechanical environment within the ILT may contribute to the degeneration of the aortic wall by affecting biological events of cells embedded within the ILT. In this study, the drained secant modulus (E(5) approximately modulus at 5% strain) of ILT specimens (luminal, medial, and abluminal) procured from elective open repair was measured and compared using unconfined compression. Five groups of fibrin-based thrombus mimics were also synthesized by mixing various combinations of fibrinogen, thrombin, and calcium. Drained secant moduli were compared to determine the effect of the components' concentrations on mimic stiffness. The stiffness of mimics was also compared to the native ILT. Preliminary data on the water content of the ILT layers and mimics was measured. It was found that the abluminal layer (E(5)=19.3kPa) is stiffer than the medial (2.49kPa) and luminal (1.54kPa) layers, both of which are statistically similar. E(5) of the mimics (0.63, 0.22, 0.23, 0.87, and 2.54kPa) is dependent on the concentration of all three components: E(5) decreases with a decrease in fibrinogen (60-20 and 20-15mg/ml) and a decrease in thrombin (3-0.3 units/ml), and E(5) increases with a decrease in calcium (0.1-0.01M). E(5) from two of the mimics were not statistically different than the medial and luminal layers of ILT. A thrombus mimic with similar biochemical components, structure, and mechanical properties as native ILT would provide an appropriate test medium for AAA mechanobiology studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / pathology*
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / physiopathology*
  • Aortic Rupture / physiopathology
  • Endothelium, Vascular
  • Extracellular Space / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fibrin / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Mimicry
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Thrombosis / pathology*
  • Thrombosis / physiopathology*


  • Fibrin