Effect of Postmortem Time and Preservation Fluid on the Tensile Material Properties of Bovine Liver Parenchyma

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Virginia Tech

The liver is one of the most frequently injured abdominal organs in motor vehicle collisions. Although previous studies have quantified the tensile failure properties of human liver parenchyma at 48hrs postmortem, it is currently unknown how the material properties change between time of death and 48hrs postmortem. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of postmortem degradation on the tensile material properties of bovine liver parenchyma when stored in DMEM or saline. Fourteen fresh bovine livers were obtained from a local slaughter house and stored in either DMEM or saline as large blocks, small blocks, or slices of tissue. Multiple parenchyma dog-bone samples from each liver were tested once to failure at three time points: ~6hrs, ~24hrs, and ~48hrs postmortem. The data were then analyzed to determine if there were significant changes in the material properties with respect to postmortem time. The results showed that the failure strain decreased significantly between 6hrs and 48hrs after death when stored as large blocks in saline. Conversely, neither the failure stress nor failure strain changed significantly with respect to postmortem time when stored as large blocks in DMEM. The modulus did not significantly change for tissue stored as large blocks in either fluid. Preliminary results indicated that reducing the tissue storage size had a negative effect on the material properties and cellular architecture. Overall, this study illustrated that the effects of postmortem liver degradation varied with respect to the preservation fluid, storage time, and storage block size.

Liver, Bovine, Failure, Tension, Stress, Strain, Postmortem