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J Biomech. 2008 Dec 5;41(16):3436-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2008.09.020. Epub 2008 Nov 8.

Dynamic tensile properties of human placenta.

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  • 1Virginia Tech-Wake Forest, Center for Injury Biomechanics, Randolph 100F, MC 0238, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA. manoogsj@vt.edu


Automobile crashes are the largest cause of injury death for pregnant females and the leading cause of traumatic fetal injury mortality in the United States. Computational models, useful tools to evaluate the risk of fetal loss in motor vehicle crashes, are based on a limited number of quasi-static material tests of the placenta. This study presents a total of 20 dynamic uniaxial tensile tests on the maternal side of the placenta and 10 dynamic uniaxial tensile tests on the chorion layer of the placenta. These tests were completed from 6 human placentas to determine material properties at a strain rate of 7.0 strains/s. The results show that the average peak strain at failure for both the maternal portion and the chorion layer of the placenta are similar with a value of 0.56 and 0.61, respectively. However, the average failure stress for the chorion layer, 167.8 kPa, is much higher than the average failure stress for the placenta with the chorionic plate removed, 18.6 kPa. This is due to differences in the structure and function of these layers in the placenta. In summary, dynamic loading data for the placenta have been determined for use in computational modeling of pregnant occupant kinematics in motor vehicle crashes. Moreover the computational model should utilize the material properties for the placenta without the chorion layer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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