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Anesth Analg. 1999 Jun;88(6):1317-21.

Lumbar dura mater biomechanics: experimental characterization and scanning electron microscopy observations.

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Servizio di Anestesia e Rianimazione, IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore di Milano, Milan, Italy.


There is no consensus about the anatomical structure of human dura mater. In particular, the orientation of collagen fibers, which are responsible for biomechanical behavior, is still controversial. The aim of this work was to evaluate the mechanical properties and the microstructure of the lumbar dura mater. We performed experimental mechanical characterization in longitudinal and circumferential directions and a scanning electron microscopy observation of the tissue. Specimens of human dura mater were removed from the dorsal-lumbar region (T12-L4/L5) of six subjects at autopsy; specimens of bovine dorsal-lumbar dura mater were obtained from two animals at slaughter. Human and bovine tissues both exhibited stronger tensile strength and stiffness in the longitudinal than in the circumferential direction. Scanning electron microscopy observations of dura mater showed that the collagen fibers are mainly oriented in a longitudinal direction, which accounts for its stronger tensile strength in this direction. We conclude that dura mater has a different mechanical response in the two directions investigated because the fiber orientation is predominantly longitudinal.


In this experimental work, we studied the structural and functional relationship of human lumbar dura mater. We performed mechanical tests and microscopic observations on dura mater samples. The results show that the dura mater is mainly composed of longitudinally oriented collagen fibers, which account for higher tissue resistance in this direction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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