MDPI, Biomedicines, 6(9), p. 670, 2021
Local biaxial deformation measurements are essential for the in-depth investigation of tissue properties and remodeling of the ascending thoracic aorta, particularly in aneurysm formation. Current clinical imaging modalities pose limitations around the resolution and tracking of anatomical markers. We evaluated a new intra-operative video-based method to assess local biaxial strains of the ascending thoracic aorta. In 30 patients undergoing open-chest surgery, we obtained repeated biaxial strain measurements, at low- and high-pressure conditions. Precision was very acceptable, with coefficients of variation for biaxial strains remaining below 20%. With our four-marker arrangement, we were able to detect significant local differences in the longitudinal strain as well as in circumferential strain. Overall, the magnitude of strains we obtained (range: 0.02–0.05) was in line with previous reports using other modalities. The proposed method enables the assessment of local aortic biaxial strains and may enable new, clinically informed mechanistic studies using biomechanical modeling as well as mechanobiological profiling.