Tensile and Compressive Mechanical Behaviour of Human Blood Clot Analogues

Rachel M.E. Cahalane, Judith J. de Vries, Moniek P.M. de Maat, Kim van Gaalen, Heleen M. van Beusekom, Aad van der Lugt, Behrooz Fereidoonnezhad, Ali C. Akyildiz, Frank J.H. Gijsen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Endovascular thrombectomy procedures are significantly influenced by the mechanical response of thrombi to the multi-axial loading imposed during retrieval. Compression tests are commonly used to determine compressive ex vivo thrombus and clot analogue stiffness. However, there is a shortage of data in tension. This study compares the tensile and compressive response of clot analogues made from the blood of healthy human donors in a range of compositions. Citrated whole blood was collected from six healthy human donors. Contracted and non-contracted fibrin clots, whole blood clots and clots reconstructed with a range of red blood cell (RBC) volumetric concentrations (5–80%) were prepared under static conditions. Both uniaxial tension and unconfined compression tests were performed using custom-built setups. Approximately linear nominal stress–strain profiles were found under tension, while strong strain-stiffening profiles were observed under compression. Low- and high-strain stiffness values were acquired by applying a linear fit to the initial and final 10% of the nominal stress–strain curves. Tensile stiffness values were approximately 15 times higher than low-strain compressive stiffness and 40 times lower than high-strain compressive stiffness values. Tensile stiffness decreased with an increasing RBC volume in the blood mixture. In contrast, high-strain compressive stiffness values increased from 0 to 10%, followed by a decrease from 20 to 80% RBC volumes. Furthermore, inter-donor differences were observed with up to 50% variation in the stiffness of whole blood clot analogues prepared in the same manner between healthy human donors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1759-1768
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Acute ischemic stroke
  • Composition
  • Experimental testing
  • Histology
  • Material behaviour
  • Mechanical thrombectomy
  • Thrombus


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