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Article dans une revue
Experimental investigations of the human oesophagus: anisotropic properties of the embalmed muscular layer under large deformation
Abstract : The oesophagus is a primarily mechanical organ whose material characterisation would aid in the investigation of its pathophysiology, help in the field of tissue engineering, and improve surgical simulations and the design of medical devices. However, the layer-dependent, anisotropic properties of the organ have not been investigated using human tissue, particularly in regard to its viscoelastic and stress-softening behaviour. Restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic meant that fresh human tissue was not available for dissection. Therefore, in this study, the layer-specific material properties of the human oesophagus were investigated through ex vivo experimentation of the embalmed muscularis propria layer. For this, a series of uniaxial tension cyclic tests with increasing stretch levels were conducted at two different strain rates. The muscular layers from three different cadaveric specimens were tested in both the longitudinal and circumferential directions. The results displayed highly nonlinear and anisotropic behaviour, with both time-and history-dependent stress-softening. The longitudinal direction was found to be stiffer than the circumferential direction at both strain rates. Strain rate-dependent behaviour was apparent, with an increase in strain rate resulting in an increase in stiffness in both directions. Histological analysis was carried out via various staining methods; the results of which were discussed with regard to the experimentally observed stress-stretch response. Finally, the behaviour of the muscularis propria was simulated using a matrix-fibre model able to capture the various mechanical phenomena exhibited, the fibre orientation of which was driven by the histological findings of the study.