Mechanical Characterization of Vulnerable Plaques

If plaque builds up in the body's arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows the arteries. This may limit the flow of oxygen-rich blood to organs and other parts of the body. If plaque builds up in the carotid arteries, a stroke can occur.

Currently, intervention planning relies on the severity of the stenosis. However, only one out of six patients benefits from this intervention. So in practice, the severity of the stenosis is not a reliable criteria for the risk of plaque rupture. Plaque rupture occurs when the mechanical stresses in the cap of the plaque exceed the local tissue strength. Therefore, a biomechanical model of the plaque may help to better assess rupture risk.

Currently, the biomechanical models are developed and the mechanical properties of the carotid plaques are characterized using different approaches (Renate Boekhoven, Stefan Sanders, Umit Arabul