Characterization of the biomechanical properties of canine trachea using a customized 3D-printed apparatus
Jennifer Sang-jee Lee (a, 1), Jonghyun Park (b, 1), Dong-A Shin (b), Yoon-jong Ryu (a), Hee Chan Kim (c, d, e), Jung Chan Lee (c, d, e), Seong Keun Kwon (a)
Objectives The canine trachea is considered to be an excellent preclinical model for tracheal research due to its similar mechanical and dimensional characteristics to the human trachea. However, normative biomechanical properties have yet to be defined and it is one of the main reasons tracheal reconstruction has not succeeded in animal models at large scale. Variation and inaccurate measurement due to a lack of proper apparatus for mechanical tests further prevent determination of normative mechanical data of the trachea. The goal of this study was to overcome these shortcomings by designing the measuring apparatus using 3D-printing technology. Using this apparatus, we determined the normative biomechanical properties of the canine trachea. Methods Whole tracheas were obtained from thirteen mongrel dogs. Biomechanical measurements were performed to determine the radial compressive strength and tensile strength of the intact trachea, and the elastic modulus of the tracheal cartilage. Results Structural parameter data indicated the canine trachea to have inner-diameters similar to those of the human trachea and other widely used animal models. The compressive strength was 4.24 N while the tensile strength was 29.96 N. The elastic modulus of the cartilage portion of the trachea was 1.58 N without showing a significant difference in value based on the location of the trachea. Conclusions This study delineates a comprehensive and foundational characterization of the biomechanical properties of both the intact and cartilage portion of the canine trachea. The parameters were in agreement with those of the human trachea, confirming the canine trachea to be an excellent preclinical model for tracheal research.