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Effect of Danshen on the Zero-Stress State of Rat's Abdominal Aorta

Hui Han, David C. C. Lam, Wei Huang†,‡

Dept. of Health Technology and Informatics, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Correspondent author. E-mail:

Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics 2012, 9(4), 295-308.


The objective of our study was to study the effect of danshen, a Chinese herbal medicine known to prevent hypertension, on the zero-stress state of rat's abdominal aorta. The zero-stress state of a blood vessel represents the release of residual stress on the vessel wall, and is the basic configuration of blood vessel affected solely by intrinsic parameters. At the in vivo state, the rat's abdominal aorta was subjected to blood pressure and flow and longitudinal stress. After dissecting from the abdominal aorta, the aortic specimens were cut into small rings at no-load state, in which the internal pressure, external pressure, and longitudinal stress in a short ring-shaped segment were all zero; by cutting radially to release the residual stress in the wall, the vessel ring opened up into a sector quickly, and the sector's configuration would not change at 20 min after cutting and was defined as the zero-stress state of a blood vessel, which was characterized by its residual strain and opening angle. Then aqueous extract of danshen prepared with methanol was added in the Krebs solution, and the changes of the aorta's zero-stress state were monitored by taking photos routinely for analysis to determine the opening angle and residual strain. Additionally, other sets of samples were tested in a Norepinephrine-Krebs solution as positive control or a Krebs solution as negative control, respectively. It was demonstrated that the zero-stress state of rat's abdominal aorta was affected by danshen extract and norepinephrine in two different patterns, while the Krebs solution did not have similar effects. The present work provides a new approach to study the anti-hypertension effect and mechanism of danshen.


Cite This Article

Han, H., C., D., Huang, W. (2012). Effect of Danshen on the Zero-Stress State of Rat's Abdominal Aorta. Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, 9(4), 295–308.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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