Study on cartilaginous and muscular strains of rat trachea.
This paper introduces a new method, termed Twice Cutting, for obtaining the zero-stress states of cartilage and muscle of trachea. The method applied cuts at the two junctions of tracheal cartilage and muscle perpendicular to the tangent lines of cartilage at its tips. The cartilaginous and muscular opening angles are defined for the first time in Twice Cutting methods. Based on the analysis of cartilaginous and muscular geometric information in no-load and zero-stress states, it is found that there are compressive and tensile residual strains in the inner and outer walls of the cartilage respectively. Residual strains at the muscular inner wall of tracheal rings near bifurcation are negative, whereas those of other rings are positive, and residual strains at outer wall of all rings are positive. This phenomenon of tracheal muscle residual strains is different from those of vessel etc. The results also show that the absolute values of cartilaginous strains are considerably smaller than that of muscular ones, with the ratio being around 0.05. The values of all the tracheal parameters, including residual strains and opening angles, are reducing with the increasing value of tracheal rings' position. So the consequences obtained in this paper not only indicate that the trachea is a non-uniform tissue along the circumferential and axial directions, but also reveal the differences between the trachea and other living tissues, such as vessel, esophagus. This is a basic research for further work, such as determining stress in trachea, to which the cartilaginous and muscular zero-stress states should be referred.