Image-Based Finite Element Modeling Approach for Characterizing In Vivo Mechanical Properties of Human Arteries

Liang Wang, Akiko Maehara, Rui Lv, Xiaoya Guo, Jie Zheng, Kisten L. Billiar, Gary S. Mintz, Dalin Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Mechanical properties of the arterial walls could provide meaningful information for the diagnosis, management and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Classically, various experimental approaches were conducted on dissected arterial tissues to obtain their stress–stretch relationship, which has limited value clinically. Therefore, there is a pressing need to obtain biomechanical behaviors of these vascular tissues in vivo for personalized treatment. This paper reviews the methods to quantify arterial mechanical properties in vivo. Among these methods, we emphasize a novel approach using image-based finite element models to iteratively determine the material properties of the arterial tissues. This approach has been successfully applied to arterial walls in various vascular beds. The mechanical properties obtained from the in vivo approach were compared to those from ex vivo experimental studies to investigate whether any discrepancy in material properties exists for both approaches. Arterial tissue stiffness values from in vivo studies generally were in the same magnitude as those from ex vivo studies, but with lower average values. Some methodological issues, including solution uniqueness and robustness; method validation; and model assumptions and limitations were discussed. Clinical applications of this approach were also addressed to highlight their potential in translation from research tools to cardiovascular disease management.

Original languageEnglish
Article number147
JournalJournal of Functional Biomaterials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • arterial material properties
  • finite element updating approach
  • in vivo
  • material parameters estimation


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