Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2017

Access Restrictions


Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Raghavan, Suresh M.L.

First Committee Member

Reinhardt, Joseph M.

Second Committee Member

Grosland, Nicole M.

Third Committee Member

Sander, Edward

Fourth Committee Member

Xiao, Shaoping


Rupture of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a catastrophic event that leads to high mortality and morbidity in patients. The primary causes associated with aneurysm rupture remain poorly understood despite rigorous investigations. Reports have shown that AAA that went on to rupture or present ruptured had higher peak wall tension (stress resultant) than those that did not go on to rupture or present ruptured. Studies investigating the material strength of ruptured AAA and unruptured AAA revealed that the uniaxial failure strength in ruptured AAA is no different on average than unruptured AAA. However, it is poorly understood whether uniaxial failure properties are reliable as they are not indicative of the manner in which failure occurs in biological soft tissues. Multi-axial failure properties using a bubble inflation test (BIT) have been implemented by various groups but have not been directly compared against uniaxial failure properties. The current study seeks to develop a BIT apparatus, to compare multi-axial and uniaxial failure properties of fibrous anisotropic biological soft tissues (bovine aorta) and non-fibrous isotropic molded silicon, and to perform a survey of computational indices at the rupture sites of four ruptured AAA. Two versions of the BIT apparatus were developed: a manual that was developed allows for a large amount of failure properties to be extracted that can identify localized weaknesses. It was found that circumferentially oriented multi-axial failure was correlated with longitudinally oriented uniaxial failure properties, however, for oblique oriented multi-axial failure the correlation decreased. Utilizing the insights gained from the multi-axial experiments it was determined that the failure properties used in the computational study with the data from Raghavan et al. were appropriate for use in retrospective assessment of the rupture site in four ruptured AAA computational models. Although the study was inconclusive in finding causation, the rupture line of each aneurysm had indices ranging between the third quartile and peak values for tension to failure tension ratio, nodal displacement magnitude, strain energy per unit volume and strain energy per unit surface area. This study provides a framework for interrogating failure properties at a higher density of measurement and a heterogeneous computational model that has the potential to predict AAA rupture in the future.


Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm, Bubble inflation test, Computational, Failure properties, Multiaxial failure, Rupture


xx, 158 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 126-131).


Copyright © 2017 Timothy Kwang-Joon Chung