Constitutive Modelling and Histology of Vena saphena


Article Preview

The inflation-extension test was performed in order to obtain the mechanical response (stress-strain curves) of the human vein - vena saphena magna (usually used for coronary artery bypass graft surgery). Tubular samples of the vein were inflated four times up to the pressure approx. 4 kPa (vein pressure) and then four times up to approx. 16 kPa (systolic pressure). The experiments were recorded by the CCD camera. The longitudinal and circumferential deformations of the tube were evaluated using the edge detection method. The experimental data were fitted by anisotropic, nonlinear, constitutive model in order to obtain model parameters, especially the parameter which can be explained as collagen fibres orientation approximation. This parameter was then compared with the findings from histology. The histology analyses based on label-free imaging were performed additionally to the mechanical testing. Collagen (most important load-bearing component of the vein wall) was visualized using second harmonic generation imaging (SHG, excitation at 860 nm by a tunable IR pulse laser, detection at 430±10 nm). This method enabled us to observe collagen through the vein wall. It was found that the collagen fibres are helically aligned within the vein at an angle 37±6° measured from circumferential axis. The results of collagen orientation angle show a good agreement of findings obtained from histology and from constitutive model.



Edited by:

Alena Petrenko




J. Vesely et al., "Constitutive Modelling and Histology of Vena saphena", Applied Mechanics and Materials, Vol. 486, pp. 249-254, 2014

Online since:

December 2013




* - Corresponding Author

[1] P. Fraztl, Collagen: Structure and Mechanics, Chapter 1, Springer, New York, (2008).

[2] M.C. Fernandez, D.R. Goldman, Z. Jiang et al., Impact of shear stress on early vein graft remodeling: A biomechanical analysis, Ann. Bimed. Eng. 32 (2004) 1484-1493.

[3] G.H. Clarke, S.N. Vasdekis, J.T. Hobs, A.N. Nicolaides, Venous wall function in the pathogenesis of varicose veins, Surgery 111 (1992) 402-408.

[4] M.A. Wali, M. Dewan, R.A. Eid, Histopathological changes in the wall of varicose veins, Int. Angiol. 22 (2003) 188-193.

[5] D.L. Donovan, S.P. Schmidt, S.P. Townsend et al., Material and structural characterization of humansaphenous vein, J. Vasc. Surg. 12 (1990) 531-537.

[6] P.J. Campagnola, L.M. Loew, Second-harmonic imaging microscopy for visualizing biomolecular arrays in cells, tissues and organisms, Nat. Biotechnol. 21 (2003) 1356-1360.


[7] G. Cox, E. Kable, A. Jones et al., 3-Dimensional imaging of collagen using second harmonic generation, J. Struct. Biol. 6 (2003) 53-62.

[8] L. Horny, J. Kronek, H. Chlup et al., Orientations of collagen fibers in aortic histological section, Bull. Appl. Mechan. 6 (2010) 25-29.

[9] J. Vesely, L. Horny, E. Gultova et al., The deformation analyses of an elastomeric composite reinforced by superelastic wires, Proceedings of the 50th Annual Conference on Experimental Stress Analysis, Tábor, Czech Republic (2012) 509-514.

[10] G.A. Holzapfel, T.C. Gasser, R.W. Ogden, A new constitutive framework for arterial wall mechanics and a comparative study of material models, J. Elast. 61 (2000) 1-48.