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Mechanical properties of native and acellular temporal muscle fascia for surgical reconstruction and computational modelling purposes

: Zwirner, Johann; Ondruschka, Benjamin; Scholze, Mario; Schulze-Tanzil, G.; Hammer, Niels


Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials 108 (2020), Art. 103833
ISSN: 1751-6161
ISSN: 1878-0180
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IWU ()
acellularization; mechanical properties; osmotic stress protocol; temporal fascia; uniaxial tensile testing

The temporal muscle fascia (TMF) is a widely used graft material and of interest for computational simulations of the temporomandibular joint as well as computational and physical human head models in general. However, reliable biomechanical properties of the TMF are lacking to date. This study provides tensile data of 52 TMFs at an age range of 18 to 94 years. It further investigates, if acellular fascia scaffolds differ from native counterparts in their biomechanical behaviour. Native TMF has a median elastic modulus of 26.2 MPa (acellular: 24.5 MPa), an ultimate tensile strength of 2.9 MPa (acellular: 2.1 MPa), a maximum force of 12.6 N (acellular: 9.9 N) and a strain at failure of 14.1% (acellular: 14.8%). No significant difference was found regarding the properties of native and acellular samples. Elastic modulus and the ultimate tensile strength increased with age but only in the acellular group (p < 0.01). Decorin and fibronectin seemed to be washed out by the acellularization procedure. The absence of cells in acellular TMF samples is not of biomechanical relevance compared to the native state. Acellular TMF is a biomechanically promising scaffold material for graft purposes, which can be retrieved easily due to its superficial location.