Proper characterization of the material properties of pulmonary arterial tissue is needed for many medical applications. The objective of this study was to investigate the stress-strain relationship and characterize the nonlinear elastic behavior of porcine pulmonary arteries; thus, uniaxial tension tests and cyclic loading-unloading tests were conducted on healthy porcine pulmonary arterial tissue. In these experiments, pulmonary arteries from different piglets and a commercial pulmonary valved conduit, called “Contegra 200”, were subjected to uniaxial tension. Results demonstrated a higher stiffness along the circumferential direction than the axial direction. The “Contegra 200” was much suffer than real pulmonary arterial tissue along the axial direction and had a similar stiffness to natural tissue along the circumferential direction within physiological stretch ranges, which is less than 40% strain. Elastic hysteresis was observed from cyclic loading-unloading tests, which indicates that more energy was required during the loading than the unloading. A nonlinear hyperelastic model based on second order polynomial constitutive equation was derived from average values of the test data along both axial and circumferential directions. The material model could be used in numerical analysis of pulmonary arterial response and facilitate the design of intravascular devices.

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