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Tensile Properties of the Swine Cardinal Ligament

Frances M. Davis· Ting Tan · Suzanne Nicewonder ·Raffaella De Vita
Virginia Tech

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Abstract. Pelvic floor disorders such as urinary incontinence, fecal in- continence, and pelvic organ prolapse represent a major public health concern in the United States affecting one third of adult women. These disorders are determined by structural and mechanical alterations of the pelvic organs, their supporting muscles and connective tissues that occur mainly during pregnancy, vaginal delivery, and aging.

The cardinal ligaments play an important role in supporting the uterus-vagina complex. Knowledge about the mechanical behavior of these ligaments is essential for the development of improved clinical interventions for pelvic floor disorders. For this reason, in this study we will examine the structure of the swine cardinal ligament using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and perform uniaxial tests on these ligaments to quantify their elastic and failure properties.