Mechanical and biochemical properties of human cervical tissue
Author(s)Myers, Kristin M
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
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The mechanical integrity of cervical tissue is crucial for maintaining a healthy gestation. Altered tissue biochemistry can cause drastic changes in the mechanical properties of the cervix and contribute to premature cervical dilation and delivery. This work presents an investigation of the mechanical and biochemical properties of cervical samples from human hysterectomy specimens. Three clinical cases were investigated: non-pregnant hysterectomy patients with previous vaginal deliveries, non-pregnant hysterectomy patients with no previous vaginal deliveries, and pregnant hysterectomy patients at time of cesarean section. Tissue samples for the three clinical cases were tested mechanically and analyzed for biochemical content. Tissue samples were tested in confined and unconfined compression, and biochemical assays measured cervical tissue hydration, collagen content, collagen extractability, and sulfated glycosaminoglycan content. The non-pregnant tissue was found to be significantly stiffer than the pregnant tissue. Collagen extractability was significantly higher in the pregnant tissue. This study represents a first important step towards the attainment of an improved understanding of the complex interplay between the molecular structure of cervical tissue and its macroscopic mechanical properties.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2005.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 97-103).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology