MS Thesis Presentation by Crystal Gilpin
Thursday, April 14, 2005

(Dr. David Ku, Chair)

"Cyclic Fatigue of Soft Tissue"


Atherosclerotic plaque caps are composed of a composite soft tissue material that becomes subjected to cyclic loading under stenotic flow conditions. The cyclic loading causes the plaque cap to fatigue and eventually fail.  The hypothesis of this work is that arteries and plaque caps may fatigue which may be predicted by a stress vs. number of cycles (S-N) curve. The S-N curve has not been determined for almost any biological soft tissue. The Specific Aim of the thesis is to quantify an S-N curve for normal arterial soft tissue collected from cyclic tension testing. Coronary arteries from porcine hearts will be tested as a material that closely models the plaque cap in non-linear elastic behavior.  The S-N curve will be developed through failure testing with multiple cycles at stresses between 0.5 and 5 MPa.