Artificial midline-fascia of the human abdominal wall for testing suture strength

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Abstract

To reduce testing of human abdominal wall closure-modalities in test animals, a fibre reinforced rubber with identical mechanical properties compared to the human midline fascia (linea alba: LA) was developed. The microscopic structure of the human LA, stress-strain behaviour, maximum tensile force and macroscopic failure mechanism in tensile tests with human LA were defined as indicators for the required properties of the fibre reinforced rubber.

A composite consisting of latex rubber and cotton fibres was developed that shows mechanical properties comparable to the human abdominal wall. The results of the tensile tests on sutured artificial LA were highly similar to those performed on sutured human LA. The material presented in this study is proposed as a substitute for human and animal tissues presently used to test suture techniques. A protocol for an approach to develop artificial fibrous soft tissue like fascie and tendon was drawn up.

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