Biomechanical properties of recurrent laryngeal nerve in the piglet

Megan J. Alexander, Julie M. Barkmeier-Kraemer, Jonathan P.Vande Geest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVP) results from damage to the recurrent laryngeal nerve (RLN). The most common causes of UVP are associated with compromised RLN tissue. The purpose of this research was to investigate the biomechanical properties of piglet RLN and identify differences in these properties along its length and in between the left and right side. Quasi-static uniaxial tensile testing and isotropic constitutive modeling was performed on seven piglet RLNs. Stiffness and other biomechanical parameters were derived from these tests and compared from conducting two different statistical analysis for the between and within nerve comparisons. Results showed higher stiffness values in the left RLN segment than for the right. Descriptive data demonstrated a higher stiffness in RLN segments surrounding the aortic arch, indicating a more protective role of the extracellular matrix in these nerves. This research offers insight regarding the protective function of the RLN connective tissues and structural compromise due to its environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2553-2562
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Epineurium
  • Mechanical properties
  • Ortner's syndrome
  • Stiffness
  • Unilateral vocal fold paralysis
  • Yield stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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