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Title: Bladder microstructural and biomechanical modelling : in vivo, in vitro and in silico
Author: Hornsby, Jack
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 7233
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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Lower urinary tract disorders are significant prognostic indicators of institutionalisation and lower quality of life in the elderly and their incidence increases with age. Urodynamics, the gold standard in diagnosis, replicates symptoms to assess functionality through controlled filling and voiding of the bladder but its interpretation is subjective and may be inconclusive; often requiring further testing or leading to inappropriate treatment. Normal filling and voiding biomechanics of the bladder relate directly to the structural composition of the bladder wall. Alterations to tissue composition in aging and pathology have significant impacts on biomechanics but are yet to be fully described. The aim of this thesis was to gain insight into the individual microstructural components of the bladder wall and how they relate to the gross mechanical response. Additionally, representation of these observations in a mathematical model that can be used to improve our understanding of urodynamic data. This aim was achieved through a combination of in situ mechanical testing and the development of a microstructural constitutive model, which was then included within an overall micturition framework to simulate filling and voiding functions, and evaluated with clinical data. Coupled systems of multiphoton microscopy and uniaxial, biaxial and inflation testing were used to correlate extra cellular matrix interactions with the mechanical response of young and aged murine bladder. Wall-layer specific collagen fibre orientation, dispersion and recruitment were quantified and implemented into a novel microstructural constitutive model. The bladder was modelled as a nonlinear elastic, constrainedmixture planar membrane with contribution from smooth muscle and collagen fibres in the detrusor. Collagen recruitment in the detrusor was observed to occur at a finite stretch; correlated with a steep increase in stiffness of the tissue, while collagen of the lamina propria plays a capacitance role. Collagen recruitment was modelled using a triangular probability density function; quantified from sequential microscopy images and fitted to mechanical data. Increased collagen area fraction and changes in dominant fibre orientation were attributed to reduced compliance in aged bladder. This behaviour was captured by the model. The microstructural model was modified to an isotropic thin-walled spherical membrane for the filling phase of a micturition model framework, consisting of a bladder outlet relation and urethral resistance relation. A contractile smooth muscle element was included in the active response. In the first steps towards clinical application the model was applied to male and female 'normal' patient urodynamic data to observe quality of model fit and estimate baseline parameter values. The model simulated key filling and voiding features seen in normal male and female clinical data. Mechanobiological modelling combined with clinically relevant micturition modelling has the potential to quantify bladder dysfunction. Moreover, improved understanding of how the microstructure influences macroscopic mechanics will yield improved understanding of how changes to the bladder impair its functionality. We predict that modelling will become a clinically relevant tool in urodynamics; leading to new options for diagnosis and management of patients with bladder dysfunction.
Supervisor: Watton, Paul ; Thompson, Mark Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mechanical testing ; Lower urinary tract ; multiphoton microscopy ; Microstructural modelling ; microstructural model ; bladder ; collagen model ; lower urinary tract