Opening angles and residual strains in normal rat trachea.
The no-load state and zero-stress state of the normal rat trachea were analyzed. It was found that there exist compressive residual strains in the inner wall region of the rat trachea and tensile residual strains in the outer wall region. The fact that the opening angle of the rat trachea cut at the cartilaginous region is significantly larger than that cut at the muscular portion shows that residual strains exist mainly in the muscular region in the rat trachea. It was also indicated that the opening angles and residual strains expressed by cutting at the muscular portion are basically identical along longitudinal location and those expressed by cutting in the cartilaginous region tend to increase in the longitudinal direction in the normal rat, and that there exists quantitatively positive correlation between the opening angles and residual strains in rat trachea. The results will help to further understand the opening angles and residual strains in the trachea and study tracheal remodeling in response to mechanical environment.