Localised micro-mechanical stiffening in the ageing aorta

Helen K. Graham, Riaz Akhtar, Constantinos Kridiotis, Brian Derby, Tribikram Kundu, Andrew W. Trafford, Michael J. Sherratt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Age-related loss of tissue elasticity is a common cause of human morbidity and arteriosclerosis (vascular stiffening) is associated with the development of both fatal strokes and heart failure. However, in the absence of appropriate micro-mechanical testing methodologies, multiple structural remodelling events have been proposed as the cause of arteriosclerosis. Therefore, using a model of ageing in female sheep aorta (young: 8 years) we: (i) quantified age-related macro-mechanical stiffness, (ii) localised in situ micro-metre scale changes in acoustic wave speed (a measure of tissue stiffness) and (iii) characterised collagen and elastic fibre remodelling. With age, there was an increase in both macro-mechanical stiffness and mean microscopic wave speed (and hence stiffness; young wave speed: 1701±1ms -1, old wave speed: 1710±1ms -1, p
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)459-467
    Number of pages8
    JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


    • Arteriosclerosis
    • Collagen
    • Elastic fibers
    • Scanning acoustic microscopy
    • Tissue elasticity


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