Computational simulation of the adaptive capacity of vein grafts in response to increased pressure

J Biomech Eng. 2015 Mar;137(3):0310091-03100910. doi: 10.1115/1.4029021. Epub 2015 Jan 29.


Vein maladaptation, leading to poor long-term patency, is a serious clinical problem in patients receiving coronary artery bypass grafts (CABGs) or undergoing related clinical procedures that subject veins to elevated blood flow and pressure. We propose a computational model of venous adaptation to altered pressure based on a constrained mixture theory of growth and remodeling (G&R). We identify constitutive parameters that optimally match biaxial data from a mouse vena cava, then numerically subject the vein to altered pressure conditions and quantify the extent of adaptation for a biologically reasonable set of bounds for G&R parameters. We identify conditions under which a vein graft can adapt optimally and explore physiological constraints that lead to maladaptation. Finally, we test the hypothesis that a gradual, rather than a step, change in pressure will reduce maladaptation. Optimization is used to accelerate parameter identification and numerically evaluate hypotheses of vein remodeling.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Blood Pressure*
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis*
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Mice
  • Vascular Remodeling
  • Veins / pathology
  • Veins / physiology*