skip to main content

Title: Ex-vivo quantification of ovine pia arachnoid complex biomechanical properties under uniaxial tension
Abstract Background The pia arachnoid complex (PAC) is a cerebrospinal fluid-filled tissue conglomerate that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. Pia mater adheres directly to the surface of the brain while the arachnoid mater adheres to the deep surface of the dura mater. Collagen fibers, known as subarachnoid trabeculae (SAT) fibers, and microvascular structure lie intermediately to the pia and arachnoid meninges. Due to its structural role, alterations to the biomechanical properties of the PAC may change surface stress loading in traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by sub-concussive hits. The aim of this study was to quantify the mechanical and morphological properties of ovine PAC. Methods Ovine brain samples (n = 10) were removed from the skull and tissue was harvested within 30 min post-mortem. To access the PAC, ovine skulls were split medially from the occipital region down the nasal bone on the superior and inferior aspects of the skull. A template was used to remove arachnoid samples from the left and right sides of the frontal and occipital regions of the brain. 10 ex-vivo samples were tested with uniaxial tension at 2 mm s −1 , average strain rate of 0.59 s −1 , until failure at < 5 h post extraction. The force and displacement data were acquired at 100 Hz. PAC tissue collagen fiber microstructure was characterized using second-harmonic generation (SHG) imaging on a subset of n = 4 stained tissue samples. To differentiate transverse blood vessels from SAT by visualization of cell nuclei and endothelial cells, samples were stained with DAPI and anti-von Willebrand Factor, respectively. The Mooney-Rivlin model for average stress–strain curve fit was used to model PAC material properties. Results The elastic modulus, ultimate stress, and ultimate strain were found to be 7.7 ± 3.0, 2.7 ± 0.76 MPa, and 0.60 ± 0.13, respectively. No statistical significance was found across brain dissection locations in terms of biomechanical properties. SHG images were post-processed to obtain average SAT fiber intersection density, concentration, porosity, tortuosity, segment length, orientation, radial counts, and diameter as 0.23, 26.14, 73.86%, 1.07 ± 0.28, 17.33 ± 15.25 µm, 84.66 ± 49.18°, 8.15%, 3.46 ± 1.62 µm, respectively. Conclusion For the sizes, strain, and strain rates tested, our results suggest that ovine PAC mechanical behavior is isotropic, and that the Mooney-Rivlin model is an appropriate curve-fitting constitutive equation for obtaining material parameters of PAC tissues.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Fluids and Barriers of the CNS
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. null (Ed.)
    Introduction: Vascular diseases like abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are characterized by a drastic remodeling of the vessel wall, accompanied with changes in the elastin and collagen content. At the macromolecular level, the elastin fibers in AAA have been reported to undergo significant structural alterations. While the undulations (waviness) of the collagen fibers is also reduced in AAA, very little is understood about changes in the collagen fibril at the sub-fiber level in AAA as well as in other vascular pathologies. Materials and Methods: In this study we investigated structural changes in collagen fibrils in human AAA tissue extracted at the time of vascular surgery and in aorta extracted from angiotensin II (AngII) infused ApoE−/− mouse model of AAA. Collagen fibril structure was examined using transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. Images were analyzed to ascertain length and depth of D-periodicity, fibril diameter and fibril curvature. Tissues were also stained using collagen hybridizing peptide (CHP) and analyzed using fluorescent microscopy and second harmonic generation (SHG) microscopy to locate regions of healthy and degraded collagen. Results: Abnormal collagen fibrils with compromised D-periodic banding were observed in the excised human tissue and in remodeled regions of AAA in AngII infused mice (Figure 1). These abnormal fibrils were characterized by statistically significant reduction in depths of D-periods and an increased curvature of collagen fibrils. These features were more pronounced in human AAA as compared to murine samples. Additionally, regions of abnormal collagen were located within the remodeled areas of AAA tissue and were distinct from healthy collagen regions as ascertained using CHP staining and SHG (Figure 1). Thoracic aorta from Ang II-infused mice, abdominal aorta from saline-infused mice, and abdominal aorta from non-AAA human controls did not contain abnormal collagen fibrils. Conclusions: The structural alterations in abnormal collagen fibrils appear similar to those reported for collagen fibrils subjected to mechanical overload or chronic inflammation in other tissues. Detection of abnormal collagen could be utilized to better understand the functional properties of the underlying extracellular matrix in vascular as well as other pathologies. 
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Purpose To develop a novel model composed solely of Col I and Col III with the lower and upper limits set to include the ratios of Col I and Col III at 3:1 and 9:1 in which the structural and mechanical behavior of the resident CM can be studied. Further, the progression of fibrosis due to change in ratios of Col I:Col III was tested. Methods Collagen gels with varying Col I:Col III ratios to represent a healthy (3:1) and diseased myocardial tissue were prepared by manually casting them in wells. Absorbance assay was performed to confirm the gelation of the gels. Rheometric analysis was performed on each of the collagen gels prepared to determine the varying stiffnesses and rheological parameters of the gels made with varying ratios of Col I:Col III. Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) was performed to observe the 3D characterization of the collagen samples. Scanning Electron microscopy was used for acquiring cross sectional images of the lyophilized collagen gels. AC16 CM (human) cell lines were cultured in the prepared gels to study cell morphology and behavior as a result of the varying collagen ratios. Cellular proliferation was studied by performing a Cell Trace Violet Assay and the applied force on each cell was measured by means of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) on CM from each sample. Results Second harmonic generation microscopy used to image Col I, displayed a decrease in acquired image intensity with an increase in the non-second harmonic Col III in 3:1 gels. SEM showed a fiber-rich structure in the 3:1 gels with well-distributed pores unlike the 9:1 gels or the 1:0 controls. Rheological analysis showed a decrease in substrate stiffness with an increase of Col III, in comparison with other cases. CM cultured within 3:1 gels exhibited an elongated rod-like morphology with an average end-to-end length of 86 ± 28.8 µm characteristic of healthy CM, accompanied by higher cell growth in comparison with other cases. Finite element analysis used to estimate the forces exerted on CM cultured in the 3:1 gels, showed that the forces were well dispersed, and not concentrated within the center of cells, in comparison with other cases. Conclusion This study model can be adopted to simulate various biomechanical environments in which cells crosstalk with the Collagen-matrix in diseased pathologies to generate insights on strategies for prevention of fibrosis. 
    more » « less

    We report a simple method to strain, and thereby program, shape memory polymers by compressing planar thermoplastic sheets. This work is motivated by the limited number of commercially available prestrained polymer sheets; current examples include: Shrinky Dinks, Eastman's Embrace, and polyurethane shrink films. However, these commercial specimens limit the sample thickness, polymer composition, and amount of stored strain. We show here that melt pressing can strain thermoplastic sheets over a range of thicknesses and polymer chemical compositions. After pressing (and thus, straining), the polymer sheets can self‐fold out‐of‐plane into complex geometries using two different actuation mechanisms, both of which locally release strain stored in the polymer. Three‐dimensional geometries are attained experimentally with both thick (~12 mm) and thin (~1 mm) strained polymer samples with a range of polymer compositions. Digital image correlation maps the strain profile within the melt pressed samples while a Mooney–Rivlin and geometric model predicts the average strain and folding response of the samples, respectively. The model predictions agree well with experimental results. These findings enable self‐folding with a broader design space such as polymer chemical composition, sample thickness, strain within the sample, and external stimulus. Techniques presented here should translate to other thermoplastic polymers, thus making this technique a viable tool to increase the available pool of materials available for self‐folding devices. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci.2018,135, 46889.

    more » « less
  4. Jiang, Yi (Ed.)
    Elastin is present in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of connective tissues, and its mechanical properties are well documented. In Marfan syndrome, however, the inability to properly code for the protein fibrillin-1 prematurely leads to the degradation and loss of elastin fiber integrity in the ECM. In this study, the role of elastin in the ECM of the anterior leaflet of the tricuspid valve was investigated by examining the biomechanical behavior of porcine leaflets before and after the application of the enzyme elastase. Five loading protocols were applied to the leaflet specimens in two groups (elastase-treated and control samples). The mechanical response following elastase application yielded a significantly stiffer material in both the radial and circumferential directions. At a physiological level of stress (85 kPa), the elastase group had an average strain of 26.21% and 6.32% in the radial and circumferential directions, respectively, at baseline prior to elastase application. Following elastase treatment, the average strain was 5.28% and 0.97% in the radial and circumferential directions, respectively. No statistically significant change was found in the control group following sham treatment with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Two-photon microscopy images confirmed that after the removal of elastin, the collagen fibers displayed a loss of undulation. With a significant reduction in radial compliance, the ability to withstand physiological loads may be compromised. As such, an extracellular matrix that is structurally deficient in elastin may hinder normal tricuspid valve function. 
    more » « less
  5. INTRODUCTION: Quadriceps tendon autografts have experienced a rapid rise in popularity for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction due to advantages in graft sizing and potential improvement in biomechanics. While there is a growing body of literature on use of quadriceps tendon grafts, deeper investigation into the biomechanical properties of stitch techniques in this construct has been limited. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the performance of a novel suture needle against different conventional suture needles by comparing the biomechanical properties of two commonly used stitch methods, a whip stitch, and a locking stitch in quadriceps tendon. It was hypothesized that the new device would be capable of creating both whip stitches and locking stitches that are biomechanically equivalent to similar stitch techniques performed with conventional needle products. METHODS: This was a controlled biomechanical study. A total of 24 matched pair cadaveric knees were dissected and a total of 48 quadriceps tendons were harvested and tested. All tendon grafts were standardized to the same size. Samples were then randomized into the following groups, keeping the matched pairs together: (Group 1, n=16) consisted of Company W’s novel two-part suture needle design, (Group 2, n=16) consisted of Company A suture, and (Group 3, n=16) consisted of Company B suture. For each group, the matched pairs were categorized into subgroups to be instrumented with either a whip stitch or a locking stitch. Two fellowship-trained surgeons performed all stitching, where they each instrumented 8 tendon grafts per group. For instrumentation, the grafts were clamped to a preparation stand in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations for passing each suture needle. A skin marker was used to identify and mark five evenly spaced points, 0.5 cm apart, as a guide to create a 5-stitch series. For Group 1, the whip stitch as well as the locking whip stitch were performed with a novel 2-part needle. For Group 2, the whip stitch was performed with loop suture needle and the locking stitch was krackow with a curved needle. Similarly, for Group 3, the whip stitch was performed with loop suture needle and the locking stitch was krackow with a curved needle (Figure 1). Cyclical testing was performed using a servohydraulic testing machine (MTS Bionix) equipped with a 5kN load cell. A standardized length of tendon, 7 cm, was coupled to the MTS actuator by passing it through a cryoclamp cooled by dry ice to a temperature of -5°C (Figure 2). All testing samples were then pre-conditioned to normalize viscoelastic effects and testing variability through application of cyclical loading to 25-100 N for three cycles. The samples were then held at 89 N for 15 minutes. Thereafter, the samples were loaded to 50-200 N for 500 cycles at 1 Hz. If samples survived, they were ramped to failure at 20 mm/min. Displacement and force data was collected throughout testing. Metrics of interest were total elongation (mm), stiffness (N/mm), ultimate failure load (N) and failure mode. Data are presented as averages plus/minus standard deviation. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with a Tukey pairwise comparison post hoc analysis was used to evaluate differences between the various stitching methods. Statistical significance was set at P = .05. RESULTS SECTION: For the whip stitch methods, the total elongation was found to be equivalent across all methods (W: 36 ± 10 mm; A: 32 ± 18 mm; B: 33 ± 8 mm). The stiffness of Company A (103 ± 11 N/mm) method was significantly larger than Company W (64 ± 8 N/mm; p=.001), whereas stiffness of whip stitch by Company W was equivalent to Company B (80 ± 32 N/mm). The ultimate failure load was equivalent across all whip stitch methods (W: 379 ± 31 mm; A: 412 ± 103 mm; B: 438 ± 63 mm). For the locking stitch method, the total elongation (W: 26 ± 10 mm; A: 14 ± 2 mm; B: 29 ± 5 mm), stiffness (W: 75 ± 11 N/mm; A: 104 ± 23 N/mm; B: 79 ± 10 N/mm) and ultimate load (W: 343 ± 22 N; A: 369 ± 30 N; B: 438 ± 63 N) were found to be equivalent across all methods. The failure mode for all groups is in Table 1. The common mode of failure across study groups and stitch configuration was suture breakage. However, the whip stitch from Company A and Company B had varied failure modes. DISCUSSION: Products from the three manufacturers were found to produce biomechanically equivalent whip stitches and locking stitches with respect to elongation and ultimate failure load. The only significant difference observed was that the whip stitch created with Company A’s product had a higher stiffness than Company W’s product, which could have been due to differences in the suture material. In this cadaveric quadriceps tendon model, it was shown that when using Company W’s novel two-part suture needle, users were capable of creating whip stitches and locking stitches that achieved equivalent biomechanical performance compared to similar stitch techniques performed with conventional needle products. A failure mode limited solely to suture breakage for methods completed with Company W’s needle product suggest a reliable suture construct with limited tissue damage. SIGNIFICANCE/CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Having a suture needle device with the versatility to easily perform different stitching constructs may provide surgeons an advantage needed to improve clinical outcomes. The data presented illustrates a strong new suture technique that has equivalent performance when compared to conventional needle devices and has promising applications in graft preparation for ligament and tendon reconstruction. 
    more » « less