TitleSample, testing and analysis variables affecting liver mechanical properties: A review
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsAhluwalia, A, Mattei, G
JournalActa Biomaterialia

Given the critical role of liver mechanics in regulating cell response and directing the development of tissue fibrosis, accurately characterising its mechanical behaviour is of relevance for both diagnostic purposes as well as for tissue engineering and for the development of in-vitro models. Determining and quantifying the mechanical behaviour of soft biological tissues is, however, highly challenging due to their intrinsic labile nature. Indeed, a unique set of values of liver mechanical properties is still lacking to date; testing conditions can significantly affect sample status and hence the measured behaviour and reported results are strongly dependent on the adopted testing method and configuration as well as sample type and status. This review aims at summarising the bulk mechanical properties of liver described in the literature, discussing the possible sources of variation and their implications on the reported results. We distinguish between the intrinsic mechanical behaviour of hepatic tissue, which depends on sample variables, and the measured mechanical properties which also depend on the testing and analysis methods. Finally, the review provides guidelines on tissue preparation and testing conditions for generating reproducible data which can be meaningfully compared across laboratories.

Refereed DesignationRefereed