Optical coherence tomography-based contact indentation for diaphragm mechanics in a mouse model of transforming growth factor alpha induced lung disease
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This study tested the utility of optical coherence tomography (OCT)-based indentation to assess mechanical properties of respiratory tissues in disease. Using OCT-based indentation, the elastic modulus of mouse diaphragm was measured from changes in diaphragm thickness in response to an applied force provided by an indenter. We used a transgenic mouse model of chronic lung disease induced by the overexpression of transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-a), established by the presence of pleural and peribronchial fibrosis and impaired lung mechanics determined by the forced oscillation technique and plethysmography. Diaphragm elastic modulus assessed by OCT-based indentation was reduced by TGF-a at both left and right lateral locations (p < 0.05). Diaphragm elastic modulus at left and right lateral locations were correlated within mice (r = 0.67, p < 0.01) suggesting that measurements were representative of tissue beyond the indenter field. Co-localised images of diaphragm after TGF-a overexpression revealed a layered fibrotic appearance. Maximum diaphragm force in conventional organ bath studies was also reduced by TGF-a overexpression (p < 0.01). Results show that OCT-based indentation provided clear delineation of diseased diaphragm, and together with organ bath assessment, provides new evidence suggesting that TGF-a overexpression produces impairment in diaphragm function and, therefore, an increase in the work of breathing in chronic lung disease.
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