Studies on the elastic properties of arterial walls which have been done for the past two decades are surveyed briefly. After several in vitro and in vivo experimental methods and clinical techniques for the measurements of the mechanical behavior of arterial walls have been reviewed, data obtained of the basic characteristics of the arterial wall, including wall incompressiblity and anisotropy, are discussed. The author then reviews constitutive laws proposed for the description of stress-strain relationships of arterial walls and methods for the parametric expression of pressure-diameter data, and shows data on the effects of aging and vascular diseases on arterial mechanics. Finally, residual stress in the arterial wall is discussed.

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