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Tissue Cell. 2001 Oct;33(5):541-7.

Structural and mechanical aspects of the skin of Bufo marinus (Anura, Amphibia).

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  • 1Institut für Topographische Anatomie und Biomechanik, Medizinische Einrichtungen der Heinrich Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf, Germany. schwing@uni-duesseldorf.de

Abstract

Specific biomechanical characters and some structures possibly related to them were investigated in the skin of the toad Bufo marinus using tensile testing techniques (at constant strain till rupture) as well as morphological methods (histological, immunohistochemical and electronmicroscopical). Mechanical parameters of the native skin varied considerably according to sex, individual variability and/or site of specimen collection. In skin strips of males and females excised from different parts of the body thickness ranged from 0.45 to 0.87 mm, strain (epsilonf) from 96.52 to 211.03, tensile strength (sigmam) from 5.72 to 9.38 MPa, and stiffness (E-modulus) from 5.76 to 6.73. The dermis of B. marinus is provided with a collagenous stratum compactum of considerable thickness, a stratum spongiosum with loosely arranged fibres and a marked calcified layer (substantia amorpha). Collagen appears to be the main determinant of skin mechanics. However, the slope of the J-shaped static stress-strain curves indicates elastin to be responsible for the high values of strain. Contrary to van Gieson and orcein staining, immunostaining with a monoclonal antibody against elastin revealed very few elastic fibers between collagen bundles and in the vertical fiber tracts (perforating bundles), but a considerable amount in the tela subcutanea. This was partly confirmed at the ultrastructural level by tannic acid staining.

PMID:
11949790
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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