Publication Abstract

Stress State Dependence of Human Placenta

Weed, B., Borazjani, A., Patnaik, S. S., Prabhu, R., Horstemeyer, M., Franz, T., Williams, L. N., & Liao, J. (2012). Stress State Dependence of Human Placenta. Annals of Biomedical Engineering. Springer. 40(10), 2255-65.


Abstract Maternal trauma (MT) in automotive collisions is a source of injury, morbidity, and mortality for both mothers and fetuses. The primary associated pathology is placental abruption in which the placenta detaches from the uterus leading to hemorrhaging and termination of pregnancy. In this study, we focused on the differences in placental tissue response to different stress states (tension, compression, and shear) and different strain rates. Human placentas were obtained (n = 11) for mechanical testing and microstructure analysis. Specimens (n = 4+) were tested in compression, tension, and shear, each at three strain rates (nine testing protocols). Microstructure analysis included scanning electron microscopy, histology, and interrupted mechanical tests to observe tissue response to various loading states. Our data showed the greatest stiffness in tension, followed by compression, and then by shear. The study concludes that mechanical behavior of human placenta tissue (i) has a strong stress state dependence and (ii) behaves in a rate dependent manner in all three stress states, which had previously only been shown in tension. Interrupted mechanical tests revealed differences in the morphological microstructure evolution that was driven by the kinematic constraints from the different loading states. Furthermore, these structure-property data can be used to develop high fidelity constitutive models for MT simulations.