Comparative quasi-static mechanical characterization of fresh and stored porcine trachea specimens
Abstract: Tissues of the upper airways of critically ill patients are particularly vulnerable to mechanical damage associated with the use of ventilators. Ventilation is known to disrupt the structural integrity of respiratory tissues and their function. This damage contributes to the vulnerability of these tissues to infection. We are currently developing tissue models of damage and infection to the upper airways. As part of our studies, we have compared how tissue storage conditions affect mechanical properties of excised respiratory tissues using a quasi-static platform. Data presented here show considerable differences in mechanical responses of stored specimens compared to freshly excised specimens. These data indicate that implementation of storage and maintenance procedures that minimize rapid degradation of tissue structure are essential for retaining the material properties in our tissue trauma models.