Biomechanical and histo-structural investigations of human abdominal adipose tissues: a basis for preoperative simulations

Project: Research project

Project Details


A considerable number of plastic surgery patients are related to the field of reconstructive surgery associated with complex soft tissue contour defects, mainly subcutaneous adipose tissue, in different anatomical regions related to trauma, burn injuries, cancer resections or congenital deformities. The most appropriate surgical intervention necessary to reconstruct the contour defect with equivalent soft tissue, resulting in optimal restoration of form and function, includes autologous soft tissue transfer from the patients own healthy body regions to the affected anatomical area. A preoperative simulation of the resulting soft tissue deformation would be desirable to support the surgeons preoperative planning and to potentially improve surgical outcomes. Promising results in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery are apparent in breast and facial soft tissue simulation using the finite element (FE) method. Currently, the development of a constitutive adipose tissue model which could be implemented in multilayer numerical models for human soft tissue deformation simulation is difficult because knowledge of the mechanical parameters of fat tissue is limited. Therefore, the study aim is to determine the multiaxial mechanical properties and the underlying tissues microstructure of the human abdominal adipose tissue. Remaining human abdominal adipose tissue samples from breast reconstruction surgeries or from abdominal plastic surgeries will be mechanically investigated. Two types of mechanical tests will be conducted: biaxial tensile and the triaxial shear tests. Moreover, dynamic biaxial tensile and shear tests will be performed in order to account for viscous features of the adipose tissue. Additionally, the specimens microstructure will be examined by histological investigations.
Effective start/end date14/09/1213/09/13


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