There has been considerable progress in the soft tissue reconstruction operations. Among it, the technique of tissue expansion has received increasing attention in recent years due to its great success in clinical trials and operations for scar revision, wound closure, and tumor removal, etc. By means of a subcutaneous implanted balloon that is subsequently inflated, the skin overlying the balloon is mechanically expanded in order to increase its surface area. The objective of this technique is to gain extra tissue for reconstructive purposes. However, the clinical application of tissue expanding technique is far from perfect. Soft tissue is a viscoelastic material that exhibits complex mechanical properties, e.g. time-dependent mechanical properties. In this study, we propose to establish a database of these basic properties from animal (pigs) and human (local patients) soft tissue. In addition, we intend to study the effect of different shapes, sizes, surface textures and numbers of tissue expanders on the rate of tissue expansion and its histological and biomechanical changes. Finite element modeling for the microstructure of skin will be used to simulate its remodeling after expansion. We will also study the effect of continuous and intermittent injections to achieve the maximization and optimization of tissue expansion. This study likely provides useful references about reconstructive operations for scar revision and mastectomy.
|Effective start/end date||8/1/11 → 11/30/12|