Mechanical Evaluation of Tracheal Grafts on Different Scales

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Abstract

Tissue engineered (or bioengineered) tracheas are alternative options under investigation when the resection with end-to-end anastomosis cannot be performed. One approach to develop bioengineered tracheas is a complex process that involves the use of decellularized tissue scaffolds, followed by recellularization in custom-made tracheal bioreactors. Tracheas withstand pressure variations and their biomechanics are of great importance so that they do not collapse during respiration, although there has been no preferred method of mechanical assay of tracheas among several laboratories over the years. These methods have been performed in segments or whole tracheas and in different species of mammals. This article aims to present some methods used by different research laboratories to evaluate the mechanics of tracheal grafts and presents the importance of the tracheal biomechanics in both macro and micro scales. If bioengineered tracheas become a reality in hospitals in the next few years, the standardization of biomechanical parameters will be necessary for greater consistency of results before transplantations.

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