The passive biomechanics of human pelvic collecting lymphatic vessels

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Title: The passive biomechanics of human pelvic collecting lymphatic vessels
Authors: Athanasiou, D
Edgar, LT
Jafarnejad, M
Nixon, K
Duarte, D
Hawkins, ED
Jamalian, S
Cunnea, P
Lo Celso, C
Kobayashi, S
Fotopoulou, C
Moore, JE
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: The lymphatic system has a major significance in the metastatic pathways in women’s cancers. Lymphatic pumping depends on both extrinsic and intrinsic mechanisms, and the mechanical behavior of lymphatic vessels regulates the function of the system. However, data on the mechanical properties and function of human lymphatics are lacking. Our aim is to characterize, for the first time, the passive biomechanical behavior of human collecting lymphatic vessels removed at pelvic lymph node dissection during primary debulking surgeries for epithelial ovarian cancer. Isolated vessels were cannulated and then pressurized at varying levels of applied axial stretch in a calcium-free Krebs buffer. Pressurized vessels were then imaged using multi-photon microscopy for collagen-elastin structural composition and fiber orientation. Both pressure-diameter and force-elongation responses were highly nonlinear, and axial stretching of the vessel served to decrease diameter at constant pressure. Pressure-diameter behavior for the human vessels is very similar to data from rat mesenteric vessels, though the human vessels were approximately 10× larger than those from rats. Multiphoton microscopy revealed the vessels to be composed of an inner layer of elastin with an outer layer of aligned collagen fibers. This is the first study that successfully described the passive biomechanical response and composition of human lymphatic vessels in patients with ovarian cancer. Future work should expand on this knowledge base with investigations of vessels from other anatomical locations, contractile behavior, and the implications on metastatic cell transport.
Issue Date: 21-Aug-2017
Date of Acceptance: 1-Aug-2017
ISSN: 1932-6203
Publisher: Public Library Science
Journal / Book Title: PLOS One
Volume: 12
Issue: 8
Copyright Statement: © 2017 Athanasiou et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Sponsor/Funder: The Royal Society
Royal Academy Of Engineering
National Institutes of Health
National Institutes of Health
Funder's Grant Number: WM120065
TEES No. C09-00903
Keywords: Science & Technology
Multidisciplinary Sciences
Science & Technology - Other Topics
Biomechanical Phenomena
Lymphatic Vessels
Middle Aged
Models, Theoretical
Rats, Sprague-Dawley
Young Adult
MD Multidisciplinary
General Science & Technology
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: ARTN e0183222
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering

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