Growth and remodeling in the pulmonary autograft: computational evaluation using kinematic growth models and constrained mixture theory

Published in International Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering, 2021

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Computational investigations of how soft tissues grow and remodel are gaining more and more interest and several growth and remodeling theories have been developed. Roughly, two main groups of theories for soft tissues can be distinguished: kinematic-based growth theory and theories based on constrained mixture theory. Our goal was to apply these two theories on the same experimental data. Within the experiment, a pulmonary artery was exposed to systemic conditions. The change in diameter was followed-up over time. A mechanical and microstructural analysis of native pulmonary artery and pulmonary autograft was conducted. Whereas the kinematic-based growth theory is able to accurately capture the growth of the tissue, it does not account for the mechanobiological processes causing this growth. The constrained mixture theory takes into account the mechanobiological processes including removal, deposition and adaptation of all structural constituents, allowing us to simulate a changing microstructure and mechanical behavior.