Evaluation of bladder wall mechanical behavior is important in understanding the functional changes that occur in response to pathologic processes such as partial bladder outlet obstruction (pBOO). In the murine model, the traditional approach of cystometry to describe bladder compliance can prove difficult secondary to small bladder capacity and surgical exposure of the bladder. Here, we explore an alternative technique to characterize murine mechanical properties by applying biaxial mechanical stretch to murine bladders that had undergone pBOO. 5-6 week old female C57/Bl6 mice were ovariectomized and subjected to pBOO via an open surgical urethral ligation and sacrificed after 4 weeks (n=12). Age matched controls (n=6) were also analyzed. Bladders were separated based on phenotype of fibrotic (n=6) or distended (n=6) at the time of harvest. Biaxial testing was performed in modified Kreb's solution at 37°C. Tissue was preconditioned to 10 cycles and mechanical response was evaluated by comparing axial strain at 50kPa. The normal murine bladders exhibited anisotropy and were stiffer in the longitudinal direction. All mice showed a loss of anisotropy after 4 weeks of pBOO. The two phenotypes observed after pBOO, fibrotic and distended, exhibited less and more extensibility, respectively. These proof-of-principle data demonstrate that pBOO creates quantifiable changes in the mechanics of the murine bladder that can be effectively quantified with biaxial testing.
© 2013 Published by Elsevier Ltd.