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Title: Modeling of Mechanical Stress Exerted by Cholesterol Crystallization on Atherosclerotic Plaques
Authors: Luo, Yuemei
Cui, Dongyao
Yu, Xiaojun
Chen, Si
Liu, Xinyu
Tang, Hongying
Wang, Xianghong
Liu, Linbo
Keywords: Cholesterol Crystallization
Atherosclerotic Plaques
Issue Date: 2016
Source: Luo, Y., Cui, D., Yu, X., Chen, S., Liu, X., Tang, H., et al. (2016). Modeling of Mechanical Stress Exerted by Cholesterol Crystallization on Atherosclerotic Plaques. PLOS ONE, 11(5), e0155117-.
Series/Report no.: PLOS ONE
Abstract: Plaque rupture is the critical cause of cardiovascular thrombosis, but the detailed mechanisms are not fully understood. Recent studies have found abundant cholesterol crystals in ruptured plaques, and it has been proposed that the rapid expansion of cholesterol crystals in a limited space during crystallization may contribute to plaque rupture. To evaluate the effect of cholesterol crystal growth on atherosclerotic plaques, we modeled the expansion of cholesterol crystals during the crystallization process in the necrotic core and estimated the stress on the thin cap with different arrangements of cholesterol crystals. We developed a two-dimensional finite element method model of atherosclerotic plaques containing expanding cholesterol crystals and investigated the effect of the magnitude and distribution of crystallization on the peak circumferential stress born by the cap. Using micro-optical coherence tomography (μOCT), we extracted the cross-sectional geometric information of cholesterol crystals in human atherosclerotic aorta tissue ex vivo and applied the information to the model. The results demonstrate that (1) the peak circumference stress is proportionally dependent on the cholesterol crystal growth; (2) cholesterol crystals at the cap shoulder impose the highest peak circumference stress; and (3) spatial distributions of cholesterol crystals have a significant impact on the peak circumference stress: evenly distributed cholesterol crystals exert less peak circumferential stress on the cap than concentrated crystals.
ISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0155117
Schools: School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering 
School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering 
Rights: © 2016 Luo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Fulltext Permission: open
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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