Mechanics-informed snakes isogeometric analysis (MISIGA): an image-based method for the estimation of local deformation and strain in blood vessels

Agustín Cox, David Ortiz-Puerta, Julio Sotelo, Sergio Uribe, Daniel E. Hurtado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Abnormal deformation of blood vessels has been related to the onset and progression of prevalent cardiovascular diseases. This mechanical connection has motivated the development of computational techniques to assess strain fields in the wall of the aorta from medical images. In this work, we present the mechanics-informed snakes isogeometric analysis (MISIGA) method, which provides seamless 3D estimations of strain fields in the full aorta from magnetic resonance images. Our approach leverages image segmentation formulations with advanced curvilinear representations of irregular vessels to capture the deformation mapping between two configurations captured by image datasets. We further inform this model by describing the motion of the aortic wall based on a Kirchhoff-Love shell approach, which allows us to construct continuous circumferential and longitudinal strain fields in the full aorta. We validate the MISIGA method using synthetically generated images from aortic mechanical simulations, obtaining errors in the strain estimation of 13.2 and 9.8 for the circumferential and longitudinal components. This performance compares favorably with other approaches that are not informed by mechanical considerations. Further, we apply the MISIGA method in the strain assessment of the aorta of a normal subject, which results in longitudinal and circumferential strain values that are in the range of those found in previous studies. We envision that the MISIGA method can open the way to seamless 3D high-fidelity analysis of local strain from medical images of the aorta and other vessels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4043-4060
Number of pages18
JournalEngineering with Computers
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Active-contour fitting
  • Aorta
  • Isogeometric analysis
  • Kirchhoff-Love shells
  • Strain

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