Cavitation instability as a trigger of aneurysm rupture

K. Y. Volokh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Aneurysm formation and growth is accompanied by microstructural alterations in the arterial wall. Particularly, the loss of elastin may lead to tissue disintegration and appearance of voids or cavities at the micron scale. Unstable growth and coalescence of voids may be a predecessor and trigger for the onset of macroscopic cracks. In the present work, we analyze the instability of membrane (2D) and bulk (3D) voids under hydrostatic tension by using two experimentally calibrated constitutive models of abdominal aortic aneurysm enhanced with energy limiters. The limiters provide the saturation value for the strain energy, which indicates the maximum energy that can be stored and dissipated by an infinitesimal material volume. We find that the unstable growth of voids can start when the critical stress is considerably less than the aneurysm strength. Moreover, this critical stress may even approach the arterial wall stress in the physiological range. This finding suggests that cavitation instability can be a rational indicator of the aneurysm rupture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1071-1079
Number of pages9
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 13 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Aneurysm
  • Cavitation
  • Instability
  • Rupture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering


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