Atherosclerotic plaque delamination: Experiments and 2D finite element model to simulate plaque peeling in two strains of transgenic mice.
A cohesive zone model (CZM) approach is applied to simulate atherosclerotic plaque delamination experiments in mouse abdominal aorta specimens. A three-dimensional finite element model is developed for the experiments. The aortic wall is treated as a fiber-reinforced, highly deformable, incompressible material, and the Holzapfel–Gasser–Ogden (HGO) model is adopted for the aortic bulk material behavior. Cohesive elements are placed along the plaque-media interface along which delamination occurs. The 3D specimen geometry is created based on images from the experiments and certain simplifying approximations. A set of HGO and CZM parameter values is determined based on values suggested in the literature and through matching simulation predictions of the load vs. load-point displacement curve with experimental measurements for one loading–delamination–unloading cycle. Using this set of parameter values, simulation predictions for four other loading–delamination–unloading cycles are obtained, which show good agreement with experimental measurements. The findings of the current study demonstrate the applicability of the CZM approach in arterial tissue failure simulations.