Mechanical thrombectomy has become the standard treatment for patients with an acute ischemic stroke. In this approach, to remove blood clots, mechanical force is applied using thrombectomy devices, in which the interaction between the clot and the device could significantly affect the clot retrieval performance. It is expected that the finite element method (FEM) could visualize the mechanical interaction by the visualization of the stress transmission from the device to the clot. This research was aimed at verifying the constitutive theory by implementing FEM based on the visco-hyperelastic theory, using a three-dimensional clot model. We used the visco-hyperelastic FEM to reproduce the mechanical behavior of blood clots, as observed in experiments. This study is focused on the mechanical responses of clots under tensile loading and unloading because in mechanical thrombectomy, elongation is assumed to occur locally on the clots during the retrieval process. Several types of cylindrical clots were created by changing the fibrinogen dose. Tensile testing revealed that the stiffness (E0.45-value) of clots with fibrinogen could be more than three times higher than that of clots without fibrinogen. It was also found that the stiffness was not proportional to the fibrinogen dose. By fitting to the theoretical curve, it was revealed that the Mooney-Rivlin model could reproduce the hyperelastic characteristics of clots well. From the stress-relaxation data, the three-chain Maxwell model could accurately fit the experimental viscoelastic data. FEM, taking the theoretical models into account, was then carried out, and the results matched well with the experimental visco-hyperelastic characteristics of clots under tensile load, reproducing the mechanical hysteresis during unloading, the stress dependence on the strain rate, and the time-dependent stress decrease in the stress-relaxation test.
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