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Use of Tensorial Description in Tissue Remodeling: Examples of F-actin Distributions in Pulmonary Arteries in Hypoxic Hypertension

Wei Huang∗,†, Yi Wah Mak*, Peter C. Y. Chen‡§

Department of Health Technology and Informatics, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Correspondent author. E-mail:
Dept. of Bioengineering, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0412
§ This paper is a tribute to Prof. Pin Tong in honor of his 72th birthday, and edited by Dr. David Lam.

Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics 2011, 8(2), 91-104.


A molecular configuration tensor Pij was introduced to analyze the distribution of fibrous proteins in vascular cells for studying cells and tissues biomechanics. We have used this technique to study the biomechanics of vascular remodeling in response to the changes of blood pressure and flow. In this paper, the remodeling of the geometrical arrangement of F-actin fibers in the smooth muscle cells in rat's pulmonary arteries in hypoxic hypertension was studied. The rats were exposed to a hypoxia condition of 10% for 0, 2, 12, and 24 hr at sea level. Remodeling of blood vessels were studied at the in vivo state under normal perfusion, no-load state when small rings from blood vessels were excised, and zero-stress state after the rings were cut open radially to release the residual stress. Tissue remodeling in response to changes in blood pressure is reflected in the zero-stress state. The tensor components were determined by analyzing the configuration of phalloidin stained F-actin fibers in the media layer of pulmonary arteries. The values of P31, P32, P33 in the in-vivo state, the no-load state, and the zero-stress state are obtained. This study demonstrated the distributions of fibrous molecules in tissue remodeling can be described quantitatively using the molecular configuration tensor.


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Huang, W., Mak, Y. W., C., P. (2011). Use of Tensorial Description in Tissue Remodeling: Examples of F-actin Distributions in Pulmonary Arteries in Hypoxic Hypertension. Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, 8(2), 91–104.

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