The ‘AbdoMAN’: an artificial abdominal wall simulator for biomechanical studies on laparotomy closure techniques

L. F. Kroese*, J. J. Harlaar, C. Ordrenneau, J. Verhelst, G. Guérin, F. Turquier, R. H.M. Goossens, G. J. Kleinrensink, J. Jeekel, J. F. Lange

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Incisional hernia remains a frequent complication after abdominal surgery associated with significant morbidity and high costs. Animal and clinical studies have exhibited some limitations. The purpose of this study was to develop an artificial human abdominal wall (AW) simulator in order to enable investigations on closure modalities. We hypothesized that a physical model of the human AW would give new insight into commonly used suture techniques representing a substantial complement or alternative to clinical and animal studies. Methods: The ‘AbdoMAN’ was developed to simulate human AW biomechanics. The ‘AbdoMAN’ capacities include measurement and regulation of intra-abdominal pressure (IAP), generation of IAP peaks as a result of muscle contraction and measurements of AW strain patterns analyzed with 3D image stereo correlation software. Intact synthetic samples were used to test repeatability. A laparotomy closure was then performed on five samples to analyze strain patterns. Results: The ‘AbdoMAN’ was capable of simulating physiological conditions. AbdoMAN lateral muscles contract at 660 N, leading the IAP to increase up to 74.9 mmHg (range 65.3–88.3). Two strain criteria were used to assess test repeatability. A test with laparotomy closure demonstrated closure testing repeatability. Conclusions: The ‘AbdoMAN’ reveals as a promising enabling tool for investigating AW surgery-related biomechanics and could become an alternative to animal and clinical studies. 3D image correlation analysis should bring new insights on laparotomy closure research. The next step will consist in evaluating different closure modalities on synthetic, porcine and human AW.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-791
Number of pages9
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

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