Microfibrils provide non-linear elastic behaviour in ...



Title Microfibrils provide non-linear elastic behaviour in the abdominal artery of the lobster Homarus americanus
Author(s) C. J. McConnell, M. E. DeMont, Glenda M. Wright
Journal Journal of Physiology-London
Date 1997
Volume 499
Issue 2
Start page 513
End page 526
Abstract 1. Microfibrils are becoming increasingly recognized as an important component of the extracellular matrix. However, almost nothing: is known about their mechanical role in the diversity of tissues in which they are found. 2. Microfibrils form the principal structural component in the wall of the abdominal artery of the lobster Homarus americanus. We have used previous estimates of the mechanical properties of these microfibrils, estimates of the fraction of the aorta wall volume occupied by the microfibrils, and their angular distribution as a function of strain in a numerical model that predicts the macroscopic mechanical properties of the whole tissue. 3. Microfibrils alone, when their reorientation and deformation are accounted for, characterize the stress-strain behaviour of the vessel. Evidence of the evolutionary conservation of fibrillin between medusans, echinoderms and vertebrates implies that the mechanical properties of lobster microfibrils may apply to microfibrillar function in other taxa. This will have profound implications on the perceived roles of microfibrils in development, physiology and disease.

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