Mechanical and Microstructural Analysis of Stomach Tissue

Unknown Stomach cut open along the greater curvature and cut into the esophageal entrance, the fundus, the body, and the antrum.

Unknown Sectional view of the stomach wall with its main layers, mucosa, submucosa and muscularis, surrounded by PBS solution for humidification.

With over 20% of the world’s population suffering from obesity and stomach cancer being the sixth common cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer death globally, gastrectomy has become a reliable and common surgical procedure. Gastrectomy describes the surgical removal of part or all of the stomach to improve the patient's health. Unfortunately, one of the main risks of the procedures is the formation of leaks along the suture line intra- or post-operatively. To avoid this complication in future gastrectomies, it is necessary to better understand the biomechanical properties and the correlation between load conditions and gastric tissue failure.

This project aims to determine the biaxial tensile and triaxial shear and compression properties of the porcine and, later, the human stomach. In addition, the underlying microstructure of the tissue is determined using multiphoton microscopy for load-free and loaded conditions in order to achieve a comprehensive understanding. The combination of compression/shear tests and tensile tests with different loading protocols enables the direction, layer and region-dependent material response to be recorded.

These mechanical data sets and structural data obtained from the histological examinations, will be used to construct a proper material model. The viscoelastic material model will then be validated by simulating the test conditions of the initial phase in a finite element model. The ultimate goal is to gain a better understanding of the biomechanical properties of the stomach and use the new insights to create numerical simulations of long-term mechanically mediated growth and remodeling of gastric tissue after gastrectomy.

Funding: Industry