Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 46, Issue 5, pp 705–716 | Cite as

The Turning Point for Morphomechanical Remodeling During Complete Intestinal Obstruction in Rats Occurs After 12–24 h

  • Daming Sun
  • Jingbo Zhao
  • Donghua Liao
  • Zhiyong Huang
  • Hans Gregersen


Intestinal obstruction prompts luminal dilation and wall remodeling proximal to the site of obstruction. Studies on temporal and spatial morphomechanical remodeling are needed for comprehending the pathophysiology of acute intestinal obstruction. The aim was to estimate the no-load and zero-stress morphomechanical properties in circumferential and longitudinal direction at 0, 6, 12, 24, 36, and 48 h after complete intestinal obstruction. Obstruction of the distal ileum was created surgically by placement of a polyethylene ring for up to 48 h in 30 rats. Sham and normal groups were also studied (n = 12). Five 6 cm-long intestinal segments proximal to the obstruction site were used for histological, morphometric and mechanical analysis at the designated times. Morphomechanical changes were huge but only subtle changes were observed between the 5 segments during the obstruction period. Due to dilation, the serosal length and mucosal length increased continuously from 6 to 48 h (p < 0.001). The wall area increased at 24 h and beyond (p < 0.001), demonstrating tissue growth. The opening and bending angle decreased to minimum values at 24 h where after the opening angle increased and the bending angle returned to pre-obstruction levels. For the residual stretch ratios and the position of the neutral axis the turning point was found after 24 h. Histologically, the thickness and area of most wall layers were quite stable for the first 12 h but with an increase at the 24 h time point that continued to the 48 h time point. The most pronounced change was found for the circumferential muscle layer (p < 0.05). Analysis of picrosirius red stained slides showed that submucosal type 3 collagen fraction increased significantly (p < 0.001), whereas the fraction of type 1 collagen decreased (p < 0.001). In conclusion, pronounced time-dependent morphomechanical remodeling was found. The obstructed intestine went from dilation remodeling to growth remodeling during the interval 12–24 h after creating the obstruction.


Complete obstruction Histomorphometry Morphomechanical Rat intestine Residual stretch 



This study was partially supported by a grant from Chongqing Science and Technology Commission (cstc2013kjrc-ljrccj10003) and National “111 Plan” Base (B06023) and Karen Elise Jensen foundation. These contributions did not constitute any conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GIOME and the Key Laboratory for Biorheological Science and Technology of Ministry of EducationBioengineering College of Chongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  2. 2.Department of Clinical MedicineAarhus UniversityAarhusDenmark
  3. 3.Communication EngineeringCollege of Chongqing UniversityChongqingChina
  4. 4.GIOME Center, College of BioengineeringChongqingChina

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