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The mechanical properties of the urinary bladder wall are important to understand its filling-voiding cycle in health and disease. However, much remains unknown about its mechanical properties, especially regarding regional heterogeneities and wall microstructure. The present study aimed to assess the regional differences in the mechanical properties and microstructure of the urinary bladder wall. Ninety (n=90) samples of porcine urinary bladder wall (ten samples from nine different locations) were mechanically and histologically analysed. Half of the samples (n=45) were equibiaxially tested within physiological conditions, and the other half, matching the sample location of the mechanical tests, was frozen, cryosectioned, and stained with Picro-Sirius red to differentiate smooth muscle cells, extracellular matrix, and fat. The bladder wall shows a non-linear stress-stretch relationship with hysteresis and softening effects. Regional differences were found in the mechanical response and in the microstructure. The trigone region presents higher peak stresses and thinner muscularis layer compared to the rest of the bladder. Furthermore, the ventral side of the bladder presents anisotropic characteristics, whereas the dorsal side features perfect isotropic behaviour. This response matches the smooth muscle fibre bundle orientation within the tunica muscularis. This layer, comprising approximately 78 % of the wall thickness, is composed of two fibre bundle arrangements that are cross-oriented, one with respect to the other, varying the angle between them across the organ. That is, the ventral side presents a 60°/120° cross-orientation structure, while the muscle bundles were oriented perpendicular in the dorsal side.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Acta biomaterialia
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