Abstract

Despite occurrence of neonatal hypoxia and peripheral nerve injuries in complicated birthing scenarios, the effect of hypoxia on the biomechanical responses of neonatal peripheral nerves is not studied. In this study, neonatal brachial plexus (BP) and tibial nerves, obtained from eight normal and eight hypoxic 3–5-day-old piglets, were tested in uniaxial tension until failure at a rate of 0.01 mm/s or 10 mm/s. Failure load, stress, and modulus of elasticity were reported to be significantly lower in hypoxic neonatal BP and tibial nerves than respective normal tissue at both 0.01 and 10 mm/s rates. Failure strain was significantly lower in the hypoxic neonatal BP nerves only at 10 mm/s rate when compared to normal BP nerve. This is the first available data that indicate weaker mechanical behavior of hypoxic neonatal peripheral nerves as compared to normal tissue and offer an understanding of the biomechanical responses of peripheral nerves of hypoxic neonatal piglets.

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