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Keywords:

  • functional gastrointestinal disorders;
  • gastroenterology;
  • Manometry;
  • motility

Abstract

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Funding
  9. Disclosure
  10. Author contribution
  11. References

Background  Manometry is commonly used for diagnosis of esophageal and anorectal motility disorders. In the colon, manometry is a useful tool, but clinical application remains uncertain. This uncertainty is partly based on the belief that manometry cannot reliably detect non-occluding colonic contractions and, therefore, cannot identify reliable markers of dysmotility. This study tests the ability of manometry to record pressure signals in response to non-lumen-occluding changes in diameter, at different rates of wall movement and with content of different viscosities.

Methods  A numerical model was built to investigate pressure changes caused by localized, non-lumen-occluding reductions in diameter, similar to those caused by contraction of the gut wall. A mechanical model, consisting of a sealed pressure vessel which could produce localized reductions in luminal diameter, was used to validate the model using luminal segments formed from; (i) natural latex; and (ii) sections of rabbit proximal colon. Fluids with viscosities ranging from 1 to 6800 mPa s−1 and luminal contraction rates over the range 5–20 mmHg s−1 were studied.

Key Results  Manometry recorded non-occluding reductions in diameter, provided that they occurred with sufficiently viscous content. The measured signal was linearly dependent on the rate of reduction in luminal diameter and also increased with increasing viscosity of content (R2 = 0.62 and 0.96 for 880 and 1760 mPa s−1, respectively).

Conclusions & Inferences  Manometry reliably registers non-occluding contractions in the presence of viscous content, and is therefore a viable tool for measuring colonic motility. Interpretation of colonic manometric data, and definitions based on manometric results, must consider the viscosity of luminal content.


Introduction

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Funding
  9. Disclosure
  10. Author contribution
  11. References

The primary tool for investigating motility disorders in the esophagus and anorectum is manometry; it has provided valuable insight into normal and abnormal motility patterns in these regions.1,2 However, manometry in the adult colon is largely considered a research-only tool,3 based in part on the belief that colonic manometry can only detect a small subset of contractile activity.

For example, it has been suggested that manometry will only record lumen occluding muscular contractions; that is, contractions in which the wall physically squeezes the catheter.4 As the diameter of the colon may exceed 50 mm and manometry catheters are relatively thin (3–5 mm), it is often assumed that colonic manometry may miss the majority of wall movements.5 This assumption, which may be important for guiding manometric interpretations, has been supported by combined manometry and barostat studies that inferred up to 70% of contractile events are not recorded on manometry, when the colonic diameter exceeds 5.6 cm.5 However, manometric recordings in children with dilated colons have reported normal motility patterns.6 In addition, non-lumen occluding contractions have been recorded manometrically in the proximal colon,7 stomach,8 and esophagus9 of adults.

Manometry records intraluminal pressure and/or force generated by muscular contractions. A critical consideration determining manometric signals is how the force generated by the muscular contraction is transmitted to the manometric sensor. If the lumen is either closed, or in contact with a solid body such as the manometry catheter, then muscular contraction will be essentially isometric. In these cases, the contractile force acts directly on the sensor and a large-signal results. Conversely, if there is deformable content within the lumen then wall movement will cause the content to redistribute itself along the lumen, and the signal may be transient and/or of small peak amplitude. In the latter case, contractions can propel fluid or gaseous content rapidly, while generating relatively low luminal pressures.10

The aim of this study was to provide an improved numerical and physical foundation for interpreting manometric studies, by investigating the relationships between (i) the rate of reduction in luminal diameter and (ii) the viscosity of luminal content on the measured intraluminal pressure. We hypothesized that the signal recorded by a manometric catheter is positively correlated with both the rate of movement of the gut wall and by the viscosity of luminal content. Accordingly, luminal diameter per se is not a reliable predictor of the manometric signals. This hypothesis was investigated by both in silico numerical and in vitro experimental methods.

Materials and Methods

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Funding
  9. Disclosure
  10. Author contribution
  11. References

Numerical model

A numerical model of a short section of lumen with a localized region that could undergo physical deformation surrounded by non-local reductions in diameter was built using COMSOL (COMSOL Multiphysics; COMSOL Inc., Palo Alto, CA, USA), a commercially available multiphysics modeling and simulation software package. Fig. 1 shows the geometry of the COMSOL model that represents the central section of the experimental setup (explained in greater detail below), as explained in detail in the next section. The model was used to investigate how pressure measured on the axis of the lumen is affected by variations in viscosity of luminal content, and also rate of collapse of a localized section of lumen.

image

Figure 1.  Geometry of the COMSOL numerical model used to calculate the effect of localized wall movements on pressure recorded on an underlying manometric sensor located in the center of the region of applied wall movement.

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For more efficient computation, a number of simplifying assumptions were made:

  • 1
     The numerical model did not attempt to take into account the viscoelastic nature of the natural tissue. Therefore, viscoelastic creep was not simulated as pressure was applied to the external pressure vessel.
  • 2
     The complicated geometry of the experimental setup was simplified to a single tube with two diameters, representing the main structure of the lumen, cannulae, and the flexible tubes to the reservoirs (Figs 1 and 2)
  • 3
     To apply 2D axial symmetry, the flexible tubes linking the pressure vessel to the reservoirs were drawn parallel to the lumen.
  • 4
     A uniform cylindrical shape was assumed for the starting geometry of the lumen.
image

Figure 2.  Schematic of the setup used to generate the localized movement of the wall of a tubular segment of gut or latex. A fluid-filled syringe is used to hydraulically generate the required localized reductions in diameter (monitored by a pressure gauge). This causes the walls of the specimen of gut to move inward, toward the manometric catheter, in a controlled rate. The gut is filled with a solution of known viscosity (dark blue), from the two reservoirs (dark blue).

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In addition, during execution of the model, the deformation of the luminal wall was solved independently of intraluminal content. Therefore, forces due to the fluid acting outward onto the wall were not considered, which would increase with increasing fluid density or decreasing tube size. Open boundary conditions were specified at both ends of the model. This ensured zero internal pressure at resting conditions, as obtained during the experimental recordings.

To investigate the effect of contraction rate, Gaussian-like pressure profiles up to the maximum applied pressure of 50 mmHg were applied to the external surface of the central luminal segment, followed by a ramp down to 0 mmHg, over intervals of 5, 10, and 20 s.

The effect of luminal fluid viscosity was investigated by solving the fluid mechanics with two representative dynamic viscosities (780 and 5000 mPa s−1) for each pressure profile.

Both in vitro and in silico models were built based on an active return of the lumen to its starting shape. In real colonic contractions, the mere cessation of active contraction would not cause the lumen to expand outward of its own accord. The musculature would instead relax back to a flaccid state, eventually expanding back to the original dimensions as digesta flows in from neighboring regions. Nevertheless, the model was designed to allow a sufficiently realistic representation of the physical conditions of luminal contractions underlying manometric interpretations.

In Vitro Model

The in vitro experimental work carried out to validate the in silico model used a pressure vessel capable of imposing a localized reduction in diameter in a luminal section of common internal diameter. The pressure vessel was based on an apparatus design by Dent et al.11 for the testing of water perfused sleeve catheters and is shown schematically in Fig. 2. All experiments utilizing animal tissue were approved by the Animal Welfare Committee of Flinders University.

The pressure vessel contained two thin-walled cannulae located on a common central axis, each having an internal diameter of 11.8 mm, separated by a 20 mm gap. The luminal segment under test was tied to the cannulae to produce a water-tight seal, under sufficient longitudinal tension to ensure that the lumen was open and the luminal wall approximately cylindrical in shape.

The cannulae were connected to T-pieces to allow a manometry catheter with sensors at 10-mm intervals to be fed through the lumen and pressure sealed at both ends. The upright arms of the T-pieces were connected to large-volume reservoirs that allowed the required luminal fillers to be gravity-fed into the internal region of the cannulae and lumen under test. The sealed outer region of the pressure vessel itself was filled with water and connected to a syringe so that the lumen could be deformed hydraulically in a controllable fashion (Fig. 2). This allowed the lumen to be collapsed inward over the 20-mm gap at different rates, toward its axis to simulate a localized muscular contraction. Applying the pressure hydraulically prevented any pressure-induced changes in temperature occurring at the outer surface of the lumen that could have adversely affected the recordings.

Two types of lumen were used. Firstly, we studied sections of latex rubber. Secondly, sections of natural proximal colonic tissue obtained from four female New Zealand albino rabbits each weighing approximately 2 Kg. Following euthanasia by intravenous injection of sodium pentobarbitone (0.5 ml kg−1), a ventral midline incision was performed and segments of proximal colon were removed, flushed of luminal content, and placed in distilled water at room temperature to suppress spontaneous muscular activity. The proximal rabbit colon was specifically selected because it contains three bands of tenia and has a diameter (15 mm) of sufficient width to accommodate a manometery catheter (3 mm). Thus, the section of gut was not distended by the catheter, nor was it ‘squeezing’ the catheter in its non-occluded state.

The rubber material was more controllable than the colonic segment and formed more uniform cylindrical segments that were better matched to the numerical model described above. The natural tissue was used to test whether results with latex were comparable to those of the more viscoelastic gut tissue.12

Luminal segments of either latex rubber or rabbit colon approximately 50-mm long were introduced over the ends of the cannulae and tied in place as described above (n = 5 from four rabbits for the colonic lumen). In both cases, the segments collapsed, as expected, in response to increases in pressure applied to the outer pressure vessel. However, the slow viscoelastic creep of the sections of rabbit colon allowed the lumen to accommodate to the changes of pressure,12 resulting in a non-linear relationship between the depression of the syringe plunger (see below) and the applied pressure. Because of this, only the initial rate of rise of the catheter response, corresponding to the approximately linear period of pressurization, was used for analyses when studying specimens of rabbit colon.

Manometry catheter

A high-resolution fiber optic catheter fabricated at CSIRO (CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering, Lindfield, NSW 2070, Australia) was used for the experimental studies. The device was 3 mm in diameter and contained 32 pressure sensing elements spaced at 10-mm intervals along the axis. The outer surface of the catheter was formed from a continuous silicone sleeve and had no inclusions or variations in outer diameter associated with the sensing regions. The design, operation, and validation of the catheter have been described in detail previously.13,14

The catheter was fed through the central lumen within the pressure vessel and held at proximal and distal regions using the pressure seals indicated in Fig. 2. The catheter was held under a slight axial tension so that it was constrained to lie along the common axis of the cannulae and lumen.

Viscous fillers

The viscous filler to be tested was poured into one reservoir and allowed to flow into and through the internal region of the lumen. Four luminal fillers of differing viscosity, simulating colonic contents, ranging from ∼200 to ∼7000 mPa s−1 were prepared. Water was used as a control (viscosity = 1 mPa s−1) and thicker fillers were made by dissolving Methylcellulose (Product # 274429; Sigma Aldrich, Castle Hill, NSW, Australia) into warmed water and left overnight to gel. The viscosity of each prepared mixture was verified with a hand-held viscometer (Brookfield Synchro-Lectric Viscometer, Model RVF, Brookfield Engineering, Middleboro, MA, USA) immediately prior to use. For the more viscous fillers, the liquid was drawn through the internal region using a syringe pressed into the lower aperture of the second reservoir. Air bubbles that lodged in the region of the luminal segment were displaced prior to the start of measurements.

Experimental protocol

Degree of occlusion  Firstly, we determined how much the luminal diameter needed to be reduced for the wall to directly contact the catheter with no luminal filler present. The luminal segment by depressing the syringe plunger in a step-wise manner and the resulting change in pressures registered by the catheter was recorded. The graph in Fig. 3 shows a typical result from one such test. The sensor located midway between the ends of the cannulae and directly at the center of the lumen shows increasing pressure from the moment the luminal wall first makes contact with the catheter. The responses from nearest the neighboring sensors along the catheter remained unchanged, indicating that the catheter was correctly located within the lumen. Thereafter, the range of movement of the syringe plunger was then limited to ∼80% of the point of occlusion to prevent physical contact between the lumen and the catheter.

image

Figure 3.  Determination of the point of occlusion. A graded series of pressure steps were applied to determine that point where the wall of the tube contacted the pressure sensor on the manometric catheter. At this point, the signal recorded by the manometric sensor starts to increase rapidly. For the rest of the study, pressures were used that were less than 80% of the threshold required for lumen occlusion.

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Dynamic response  Once the point of occlusion had been determined, the reservoirs were filled with liquid of the desired viscosity. The syringe was then depressed, forcing the walls of the luminal segment (latex or rabbit colon) to constrict in a series of phasic pressure events, each with a different rate. For one section of rabbit colon the events were repeated multiple times using two different viscosities (880 and 1760 mPa s−1), to generate statistically significant data.

Results

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Funding
  9. Disclosure
  10. Author contribution
  11. References

In silico results

The calculated changes in pressure on the axis of the lumen during a sequence of non-occluding events, using luminal fluid with viscosities of 780 and 5000 mPa s−1, in response to localized reductions in diameter are displayed in Fig. 4. As the luminal diameter reduced, the fluid pressure increased due to viscous forces and the restricted diameter at the ends of the lumen. However, as fluid continued to flow out of the contracted region, pressure rapidly decreased even as the wall continued to deform inward. As the lumen gradually returned to its starting position, the intraluminal pressure dropped below zero. It is interesting to note that the intraluminal pressure starts to increase rapidly even at the very early stages of the reduction in diameter. This trend was also present in the in vitro investigations as described below (Fig. 5).

image

Figure 4.  Modeling of sensor recordings during wall movements imposed by increasing pressure in the chamber surrounding the gut. The applied pressure is shown in blue, and calculated sensor responses are shown for viscosities of 780 and 5000 mPa s−1 (red and purple traces).

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image

Figure 5.  Measured changes in pressure on the axis of the latex lumen for phasic applied pressure profiles, using luminal content with viscosities of 795 and 3180 mPa s−1 (blue and red traces).

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The intraluminal pressure increased faster when using intraluminal filler solutions of higher viscosity, as well as when rapid rates of wall movement were imposed.

In vitro results

The trends identified in the in silico model were also present in both latex rubber and colonic tissue experiments. Fig. 5 shows pressures measured in the center of the lumen using contents with two viscosities, during diameter reductions similar to the in silico model. All of the features identified in the numerical simulations (Fig. 4) were faithfully reproduced in the latex model, demonstrating the validity of the numerical results.

The collated pressure traces results from the sensor immediately underneath the lumen, during a separate series of non-occluding events at different rates of collapse, and with different luminal filler viscosity, for all of the latex rubber contractions are shown in Fig. 6. These results demonstrated several key points. Firstly, the wall did not have to make contact with the sensor in order for it to record manometric signals in the presence of a viscous luminal filler. Secondly, there was a clear association between viscosity and pressure: as the viscosity of content increased, the measured pressure increased. Thirdly, as the rate of collapse increased, the rate of rise of recorded pressure also increased, and hence the peak pressure response achieved also increased.

image

Figure 6.  Effects of viscosity of filler on initial pressure gradients of measured pressures recorded from the sensor immediately underneath the region of contraction during collapse of the latex lumen.

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Figure 7 shows equivalent manometric response during non-occluding events in lumen from the rabbit colon, at different rates of wall movement, with fluid content with a viscosity of 880 mPa s−1. Despite evident viscoelastic creep of the natural tissue, similar results to those obtained with latex are evident. The recorded pressure increased with both increasing rate of contraction, and with increasing viscosity of the luminal content.

image

Figure 7.  Measured changes in pressure on the axis of the section of rabbit colon lumen for phasic applied pressure profiles, using luminal content with a viscosity of 880 mPa s−1.

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Due to the viscoelastic creep causing variability in the measured responses, repeated measurements were carried out on one section of gut, using two fillers of different viscosity (880 and 1760 mPa s−1). Fig. 8 shows this data from 48 separate contractions. The trend lines for both fillers demonstrated a linear increase in the measured pressure measured by the sensor with respect to the applied pressure (P < 0.0001 for non-zero slope), of 0.48 (95% CI: 0.33–0.62) for the 880 mPa s−1 filler, and 0.71 (95% CI: 0.64–0.78) for the 1760 mPa s−1 filler. The higher measured pressures recorded with more viscous fillers further confirmed the relationships demonstrated in Fig. 6 for low rates of luminal collapse. With lower viscosity filler, the data were more scattered (R2 = 0.62 compared to R2 = 0.96 for the higher viscosity), reflecting more variability in the rate of wall movement, probably caused by the low resistance to collapse of the luminal wall.

image

Figure 8.  Measured rate as a function of applied rate for 48 separate contractions using filler viscosities of 880 and 1760 mPa s−1. Linear curve fits to the data gives slopes of 0.48 (R2 = 0.62) and 0.71 (R2 = 0.96), respectively.

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Discussion

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Funding
  9. Disclosure
  10. Author contribution
  11. References

This joint numerical and experimental study investigated the relationships between pressure changes measured by a manometric sensor, rate of wall movement, and viscosity of luminal content. Close agreement was shown between the in silico and in vitro results, demonstrating the validity of the numerical model within its stated assumptions.

Previous reports have suggested that colonic manometry fails to record non-lumen occluding contractions4 and that the majority of contractile activity may not be detected in the regions of the colon with large diameters.5 Our results unequivocally demonstrate that manometric devices can respond to non-occluding contractions, and furthermore, that the magnitude of the response is directly dependent on both the viscosity of the contents and on the rate of movement of the luminal wall. Hence, the assumption that non-occluding contractions cannot be recorded by manometry is erroneous.

An influential study by von der Ohe et al. concluded that that when the colon exceeds a diameter of 5.6 cm, manometry may miss up to 70% of the contractile activity.5 Our results indicate that luminal diameter in isolation is not an appropriate surrogate measure of the efficacy of intraluminal manometry; the viscosity of the contents and the rate of wall movement will have major effects on the measured pressure. Hence, the colonic diameter inferred by the isobaric inflation of a balloon, as performed by von der Ohe et al., should not be used to delineate between effective and non-effective manometry. It should be further noted that an ‘effective colonic diameter’ defined by the volume of a barostat bag under a predescribed pressure5 is not comparable to the true colonic condition of a full lumen of the same diameter. Rather, the approach of von der Ohe et al.5 instead offers an indication of the compliance, or resistance to distension, under the action of the expanding bag. Hence, it needs to be recognized that the 5.6 cm ‘colonic diameter’ described in that study as the cutoff for effective manometry is highly unlikely to represent the natural working state of the colon. Under normal conditions, once the barostat is removed, the colonic lumen will return to its normal state in which it is filled with content ranging from gas to semisolid.

A further point to consider in interpreting the findings of5 is their assumption about the distances over which contractions propagate in the human colon. At the time of writing their article, studies in canine colon15 and human colon16 suggested that the majority of propagating contractions propagate over distances greater than >10 cm. Thus, they argued that most events detected by a barostat bag (10 cm in length) would reasonably be expected to be detected by neighboring manometry sensors proximally and distally. However, recent in vivo, high-resolution manometry studies in human colon, with sensors spaced at 1-cm intervals, have shown that many colonic propagating sequences are of short extent (3–7 cm).17 Therefore, events recorded by the barostat would not necessarily have propagated to the manometry sensors. In addition, the barostat bag itself may have stimulated low threshold mucosal afferents, causing localized contractile events that would similarly not necessarily propagate to neighboring manometry sensors.

This study shows that viscosity of luminal content has a major influence on the manometric signal. Manometric signals are often recorded in a prepared (empty) colon18; however, the current study suggests that the amplitude of recorded signals is likely to change as the colon fills, simply because of changes in mechanical coupling between wall movements and the pressure sensors. This observation may be relevant to the results of studies in which manometry catheters were placed during colonoscopy in a prepared bowel, followed by recordings over and beyond the following 24 h. The viscosity of colonic content can vary by many orders of magnitude as it traverses progresses from the cecum to rectum, undergoing the normal dewatering processes. Variation in the amplitude of the manometric signal in different regions of the colon may reflect the nature of the content more than the force of contraction of the muscular wall. For example, in studies performed by some of the present authors,19,20 the average amplitude of propagating pressure waves in the distal colon was reported to be greater than in the ascending and transverse colon. This was interpreted as reflecting an adaptation of the distal colon to generate stronger contractions required to shift the increasingly viscous content. However, the current study, together with a recently published numerical consideration of colonic motility,21 suggests that the differing amplitude of the signal may in fact simply reflect the manometric response changing due to the increasing viscosity of content.

These findings may also have significant implications for the definition of high-amplitude propagating pressure waves. These events have been defined under a variety of names and have been defined with cutoff amplitudes ranging from 50 to 136 mmHg.22 The current study suggests that attributing an exact, arbitrary value to distinguish high amplitude events, as some of the authors here have also done in the past (e.g., >116 mmHg),19 is inappropriate. However, by no means does this suggest that identification of these events is unimportant, because these events are known to be associated with defecation23,24 and luminal propulsion25 and pathophysiologically, their frequency incidence is diminished in patients with slow transit constipation.18,26,27,28

Gathering direct evidence of our findings from in vivo human colonic manometry studies is not easily done, because of the need to dynamically measure intraluminal pressure and image the luminal dimensions. The latter measurement can be achieved with videofluoroscopy, however, as the colonic contractile activity is not under voluntary control, prolonged screening may be required to capture the required events, and that poses ethical concerns. However, evidence is available from analyses of swallowing using videofluoroscopy combined with manometry. These studies readily pick up the intrabolus pressure as a liquid bolus passes a given manometry sensor and then a significantly higher peak as the lumen collapses down on the catheter during the peristaltic squeeze.9

Although not a focus of this study, the nature of the manometric signal is also likely to be influenced by physical features of the colonic lumen, for example, the presence of constrictions and/or sphincters such as the ileocaecal junction, the colonic haustral folds, sharp angulations (e.g., the splenic flexure and sigmoid colon), distal inhibitory neural reflexes acting on the smooth muscle, overall muscle wall hypertrophy (as occurs in diverticulosis), or focal narrowing and/or strictures. Such anatomical features will modify the resistance to longitudinal propulsion of content in response to a localized contraction, and hence will affect the ‘back pressure’ detected by the manometry sensor. The design of our pressure vessel allows for the addition of non-local constrictions at a distance to the imposed wall movements and will be used for future characterization of the magnitude of such effects.

In conclusion, this study has presented a joint numerical and experimental investigation into the effects of non-lumen-occluding contractions in the presence of viscous media on manometry. Through a series of controlled in vitro experiments using localized imposed wall movements in sections of excised animal gut and latex tubing, and an associated numerical study, we have demonstrated unequivocally that non-occluding luminal contractions are recorded using intraluminal manometry. Our results further demonstrate that the strength of the recorded signal is dependent on both the viscosity of the luminal content and the rate of contraction of the luminal wall. As pointed out above, the compliance and diameters of neighboring regions of gut are also likely to be important factors, although these were not included in this study.

Although we have related this study to the specific conditions facing the researcher undertaking colonic manometry, the results described here are equally applicable to other regions of the GI tract in which viscosity of content is either intentionally varied (such as controlled swallows in the esophagus) or naturally occurs (such as chyme entering the small bowel following meals of differing consistency and content).

Acknowledgments

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Funding
  9. Disclosure
  10. Author contribution
  11. References

This manuscript is dedicated to our colleague and friend Andrew Pullan who lost his battle with cancer during the final stages of the project.

Dr Dinning is supported by NHMRC grant #630502 and the Clinician’s Special Purpose Fund of the Flinders Medical Centre.

The in vitro experiments involving rabbit tissue were performed in Dr Spencer’s laboratory which is supported by NHMRC grant #1025766. Dr Brookes is supported by NHMRC project grant #595979.

Funding

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Funding
  9. Disclosure
  10. Author contribution
  11. References

Dr O’Grady and Prof. Pullan received funding for this work from NIH R01 DK64775 and the Riddett Institute.

Author contribution

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Funding
  9. Disclosure
  10. Author contribution
  11. References

The work was conceived and planned during a meeting between JA, PD, IC, GOG, AP, NS, SB, and MC. The experimental protocol was developed by JA, AP, and SB. The catheters were fabricated and supplied by JA and the in vitro testing environments were devised by MC and NS and assembled by NB and SM. The experiments were conducted by AD under the supervision of JA and PD, and the numerical model was assembled and run by JL under the supervision of RA, GOG, and AP. The draft was prepared by JA and edited by all authors.

References

  1. Top of page
  2. Abstract
  3. Introduction
  4. Materials and Methods
  5. Results
  6. Discussion
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. Funding
  9. Disclosure
  10. Author contribution
  11. References
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