Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

Soft tissue Related Abstracts

6 Computation of Residual Stresses in Human Face Due to Growth

Authors: M. A. Askari, M. A. Nazari, P. Perrier, Y. Payan

Abstract:

Growth and remodeling of biological structures have gained lots of attention over the past decades. Determining the response of the living tissues to the mechanical loads is necessary for a wide range of developing fields such as, designing of prosthetics and optimized surgery operations. It is a well-known fact that biological structures are never stress-free, even when externally unloaded. The exact origin of these residual stresses is not clear, but theoretically growth and remodeling is one of the main sources. Extracting body organs from medical imaging, does not produce any information regarding the existing residual stresses in that organ. The simplest cause of such stresses is the gravity since an organ grows under its influence from its birth. Ignoring such residual stresses might cause erroneous results in numerical simulations. Accounting for residual stresses due to tissue growth can improve the accuracy of mechanical analysis results. In this paper, we have implemented a computational framework based on fixed-point iteration to determine the residual stresses due to growth. Using nonlinear continuum mechanics and the concept of fictitious configuration we find the unknown stress-free reference configuration which is necessary for mechanical analysis. To illustrate the method, we apply it to a finite element model of healthy human face whose geometry has been extracted from medical images. We have computed the distribution of residual stress in facial tissues, which can overcome the effect of gravity and cause that tissues remain firm. Tissue wrinkles caused by aging could be a consequence of decreasing residual stress and not counteracting the gravity. Considering these stresses has important application in maxillofacial surgery. It helps the surgeons to predict the changes after surgical operations and their consequences.

Keywords: Soft tissue, Growth, Finite Element Method, Residual Stress

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5 Computational Feasibility Study of a Torsional Wave Transducer for Tissue Stiffness Monitoring

Authors: Rafael Muñoz, Juan Melchor, Alicia Valera, Laura Peralta, Guillermo Rus

Abstract:

A torsional piezoelectric ultrasonic transducer design is proposed to measure shear moduli in soft tissue with direct access availability, using shear wave elastography technique. The measurement of shear moduli of tissues is a challenging problem, mainly derived from a) the difficulty of isolating a pure shear wave, given the interference of multiple waves of different types (P, S, even guided) emitted by the transducers and reflected in geometric boundaries, and b) the highly attenuating nature of soft tissular materials. An immediate application, overcoming these drawbacks, is the measurement of changes in cervix stiffness to estimate the gestational age at delivery. The design has been optimized using a finite element model (FEM) and a semi-analytical estimator of the probability of detection (POD) to determine a suitable geometry, materials and generated waves. The technique is based on the time of flight measurement between emitter and receiver, to infer shear wave velocity. Current research is centered in prototype testing and validation. The geometric optimization of the transducer was able to annihilate the compressional wave emission, generating a quite pure shear torsional wave. Currently, mechanical and electromagnetic coupling between emitter and receiver signals are being the research focus. Conclusions: the design overcomes the main described problems. The almost pure shear torsional wave along with the short time of flight avoids the possibility of multiple wave interference. This short propagation distance reduce the effect of attenuation, and allow the emission of very low energies assuring a good biological security for human use.

Keywords: Soft tissue, Shear Modulus, cervix ripening, preterm birth, shear wave elastography, torsional wave

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4 Evaluation of Residual Stresses in Human Face as a Function of Growth

Authors: M. A. Askari, M. A. Nazari, P. Perrier, Y. Payan

Abstract:

Growth and remodeling of biological structures have gained lots of attention over the past decades. Determining the response of living tissues to mechanical loads is necessary for a wide range of developing fields such as prosthetics design or computerassisted surgical interventions. It is a well-known fact that biological structures are never stress-free, even when externally unloaded. The exact origin of these residual stresses is not clear, but theoretically, growth is one of the main sources. Extracting body organ’s shapes from medical imaging does not produce any information regarding the existing residual stresses in that organ. The simplest cause of such stresses is gravity since an organ grows under its influence from birth. Ignoring such residual stresses might cause erroneous results in numerical simulations. Accounting for residual stresses due to tissue growth can improve the accuracy of mechanical analysis results. This paper presents an original computational framework based on gradual growth to determine the residual stresses due to growth. To illustrate the method, we apply it to a finite element model of a healthy human face reconstructed from medical images. The distribution of residual stress in facial tissues is computed, which can overcome the effect of gravity and maintain tissues firmness. Our assumption is that tissue wrinkles caused by aging could be a consequence of decreasing residual stress and thus not counteracting gravity. Taking into account these stresses seems therefore extremely important in maxillofacial surgery. It would indeed help surgeons to estimate tissues changes after surgery.

Keywords: Soft tissue, Growth, Finite Element Method, Residual Stress

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3 Determination of Activation Energy for Thermal Decomposition of Selected Soft Tissues Components

Authors: M. Ekiert, T. Uhl, A. Mlyniec

Abstract:

Tendons are the biological soft tissue structures composed of collagen, proteoglycan, glycoproteins, water and cells of extracellular matrix (ECM). Tendons, which primary function is to transfer force generated by the muscles to the bones causing joints movement, are exposed to many micro and macro damages. In fact, tendons and ligaments trauma are one of the most numerous injuries of human musculoskeletal system, causing for many people (particularly for athletes and physically active people), recurring disorders, chronic pain or even inability of movement. The number of tendons reconstruction and transplantation procedures is increasing every year. Therefore, studies on soft tissues storage conditions (influencing i.e. tissue aging) seem to be an extremely important issue. In this study, an atomic-scale investigation on the kinetics of decomposition of two selected tendon components – collagen type I (which forms a 60-85% of a tendon dry mass) and elastin protein (which combine with ECM creates elastic fibers of connective tissues) is presented. A molecular model of collagen and elastin was developed based on crystal structure of triple-helical collagen-like 1QSU peptide and P15502 human elastin protein, respectively. Each model employed 4 linear strands collagen/elastin strands per unit cell, distributed in 2x2 matrix arrangement, placed in simulation box filled with water molecules. A decomposition phenomena was simulated with molecular dynamics (MD) method using ReaxFF force field and periodic boundary conditions. A set of NVT-MD runs was performed for 1000K temperature range in order to obtained temperature-depended rate of production of decomposition by-products. Based on calculated reaction rates activation energies and pre-exponential factors, required to formulate Arrhenius equations describing kinetics of decomposition of tested soft tissue components, were calculated. Moreover, by adjusting a model developed for collagen, system scalability and correct implementation of the periodic boundary conditions were evaluated. An obtained results provide a deeper insight into decomposition of selected tendon components. A developed methodology may also be easily transferred to other connective tissue elements and therefore might be used for further studies on soft tissues aging.

Keywords: Soft tissue, Molecular Dynamics, Decomposition, tendons

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2 A Study of Influence of Freezing on Mechanical Properties of Tendon Fascicles

Authors: Martyna Ekiert, Andrzej Mlyniec

Abstract:

Tendons are the biological structures, which primary function is to transfer force generated by muscles to the bones. Unfortunately, damages of tendons are also one of the most common injuries of the human musculoskeletal system. For the most severe cases of tendon rupture, such as the tear of calcaneus tendon or anterior cruciate ligament of the knee, a surgical procedure is the only possible way of full recovery. Tendons used as biological grafts are usually subjected to the process of deep freezing and subsequent thawing. This, in particular for multiple freezing/thawing cycles, may result in changes of tendon internal structure causing deterioration of mechanical properties of the tissue. Therefore, studies on the influence of freezing on tendons biomechanics, including internal water content in soft tissue, seems to be greatly needed. An experimental study of the influence of freezing on mechanical properties of the tendon was performed on fascicles samples dissected form bovine flexor tendons. The preparation procedure was performed with the presence of 0.9% saline solution in order to prevent an excessive tissue drying. All prepared samples were subjected to the different number of freezing/thawing cycles. For freezing part of the protocol we used -80°C temperature while for slow thawing we used fridge temperature (4°C) combined with equalizing temperatures in the standard state (25°C). After final thawing, the mechanical properties of each sample was examined using cyclic loading test. Our results may contribute for better understanding of negative effects of soft tissues freezing, resulting from abnormal thermal expansion of water. This also may help to determine the limit of freezing/thawing cycles disqualifying tissue for surgical purposes and thus help optimize tissues storage conditions.

Keywords: Soft tissue, freezing, tendon, bovine fascicles

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1 A Multiple Freezing/Thawing Cycles Influence Internal Structure and Mechanical Properties of Achilles Tendon

Authors: Martyna Ekiert, Andrzej Mlyniec, Natalia Grzechnik, Joanna Karbowniczek, Urszula Stachewicz

Abstract:

Tendon grafting is a common procedure performed to treat tendon rupture. Before the surgical procedure, tissues intended for grafts (i.e., Achilles tendon) are stored in ultra-low temperatures for a long time and also may be subjected to unfavorable conditions, such as repetitive freezing (F) and thawing (T). Such storage protocols may highly influence the graft mechanical properties, decrease its functionality and thus increase the risk of complications during the transplant procedure. The literature reports on the influence of multiple F/T cycles on internal structure and mechanical properties of tendons stay inconclusive, confirming and denying the negative influence of multiple F/T at the same time. An inconsistent research methodology and lack of clear limit of F/T cycles, which disqualifies tissue for surgical graft purposes, encouraged us to investigate the issue of multiple F/T cycles by the mean of biomechanical tensile tests supported with Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) imaging. The study was conducted on male bovine Achilles tendon-derived from the local abattoir. Fresh tendons were cleaned of excessive membranes and then sectioned to obtained fascicle bundles. Collected samples were randomly assigned to 6 groups subjected to 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 cycles of freezing-thawing (F/T), respectively. Each F/T cycle included deep freezing at -80°C temperature, followed by thawing at room temperature. After final thawing, thin slices of the side part of samples subjected to 1, 4, 8 and 12 F/T cycles were collected for SEM imaging. Then, the width and thickness of all samples were measured to calculate the cross-sectional area. Biomechanical tests were performed using the universal testing machine (model Instron 8872, INSTRON®, Norwood, Massachusetts, USA) using a load cell with a maximum capacity of 250 kN and standard atmospheric conditions. Both ends of each fascicle bundle were manually clamped in grasping clamps using abrasive paper and wet cellulose wadding swabs to prevent tissue slipping while clamping and testing. Samples were subjected to the testing procedure including pre-loading, pre-cycling, loading, holding and unloading steps to obtain stress-strain curves for representing tendon stretching and relaxation. The stiffness of AT fascicles bundle samples was evaluated in terms of modulus of elasticity (Young’s modulus), calculated from the slope of the linear region of stress-strain curves. SEM imaging was preceded by chemical sample preparation including 24hr fixation in 3% glutaraldehyde buffered with 0.1 M phosphate buffer, washing with 0.1 M phosphate buffer solution and dehydration in a graded ethanol solution. SEM images (Merlin Gemini II microscope, ZEISS®) were taken using 30 000x mag, which allowed measuring a diameter of collagen fibrils. The results confirm a decrease in fascicle bundles Young’s modulus as well as a decrease in the diameter of collagen fibrils. These results confirm the negative influence of multiple F/T cycles on the mechanical properties of tendon tissue.

Keywords: Biomechanics, Soft tissue, collagen, fascicle bundles

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