Mechanical Forces and Vascular Injury
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2010 Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved. Mechanical forces play important roles in the normal development and maintenance of blood vessel structure. Perturbations in the normal mechanical environment contribute to the pathological remodeling associated with diseases such as atherosclerosis, hypertension, and aneurysm. In this chapter we will discuss the primary stresses to which vascular cells are exposed, how cells and tissues sense and respond to changes in stress, and the role that these stresses play in the development of vascular disease. The three primary stresses that are discussed in detail are fluid shear stress, circumferential wall stress, and axial stress. This chapter focuses on the mechanisms by which vascular cells sense and respond to changes in these stresses and the role that these stresses play in the development of vascular disease.
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