Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 413189, 12 pages
Research Article

Morphological and Biomechanical Differences in the Elastase and AngII apoE−/− Rodent Models of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

1Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University, 206 S. Martin Jischke Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
2Department of Biomedical Engineering, John A. White, Jr. Engineering Hall, 790 W. Dickson Street, Suite 120, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA

Received 11 October 2014; Accepted 18 December 2014

Academic Editor: Oreste Gualillo

Copyright © 2015 Evan H. Phillips et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a potentially fatal cardiovascular disease with multifactorial development and progression. Two preclinical models of the disease (elastase perfusion and angiotensin II infusion in apolipoprotein-E-deficient animals) have been developed to study the disease during its initiation and progression. To date, most studies have used ex vivo methods to examine disease characteristics such as expanded aortic diameter or analytic methods to look at circulating biomarkers. Herein, we provide evidence from in vivo ultrasound studies of the temporal changes occurring in biomechanical parameters and macromolecules of the aortic wall in each model. We present findings from 28-day studies in elastase-perfused rats and AngII apoE−/− mice. While each model develops AAAs specific to their induction method, they both share characteristics with human aneurysms, such as marked changes in vessel strain and blood flow velocity. Histology and nonlinear microscopy confirmed that both elastin and collagen, both important extracellular matrix molecules, are similarly affected in their levels and spatial distribution. Future studies could make use of the differences between these models in order to investigate mechanisms of disease progression or evaluate potential AAA treatments.