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Correlating Local Volumetric Tissue Strains with Global Lung Mechanics Measurements
Materials, Volume: 14, Issue: 2, Start page: 439
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Abstract: The mechanics of breathing is a fascinating and vital process. The lung has complexities andsubtle heterogeneities in structure across length scales that influence mechanics and function. Thisstudy establishes an experimental pipeline for capturing alveolar deformations during a respirator...
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Abstract: The mechanics of breathing is a fascinating and vital process. The lung has complexities andsubtle heterogeneities in structure across length scales that influence mechanics and function. Thisstudy establishes an experimental pipeline for capturing alveolar deformations during a respiratorycycle using synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography (SR-micro-CT). Rodent lungs weremechanically ventilated and imaged at various time points during the respiratory cycle. PressureVolume (P-V) characteristics were recorded to capture any changes in overall lung mechanicalbehaviour during the experiment. A sequence of tomograms was collected from the lungs within theintact thoracic cavity. Digital volume correlation (DVC) was used to compute the three-dimensionalstrain field at the alveolar level from the time sequence of reconstructed tomograms. Regionaldifferences in ventilation were highlighted during the respiratory cycle, relating the local strainswithin the lung tissue to the global ventilation measurements. Strains locally reached approximately150% compared to the averaged regional deformations of approximately 80–100%. Redistribution ofair within the lungs was observed during cycling. Regions which were relatively poorly ventilated(low deformations compared to its neighbouring region) were deforming more uniformly at laterstages of the experiment (consistent with its neighbouring region). Such heterogenous phenomena arecommon in everyday breathing. In pathological lungs, some of these non-uniformities in deformationbehaviour can become exaggerated, leading to poor function or further damage. The techniquepresented can help characterize the multiscale biomechanical nature of a given pathology to improvepatient management strategies, considering both the local and global lung mechanics.
lung mechanics; micro-CT; synchrotron; digital volume correlation; alveoli
College of Engineering
UKRI Block Grant, EP/M028267/1