ePlasty: Vol. 14
The Effect of pH on Rabbit Septal Cartilage Shape Change: Exploring the Mechanism of Electromechanical Tissue Reshaping
Lauren E. Tracy, BA, and Brian J. Wong, MD, PhD

Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, University of California, Irvine, Calif

Correspondence: ltracy@uci.edu
Keywords: cartilage, cartilage reshaping, electromechanical reshaping, EMR, mechanism

Introduction: Electromechanical reshaping (EMR) involves the application of an electrical current to mechanically deformed cartilage to create sustained tissue shape change. Although EMR may evolve to become an inexpensive and reliable way of producing shape change in cartilage during reconstructive surgery, the precise mechanism of EMR is unknown. We aim to examine the isolated effect of protonation (pH) on shape change in cartilage. Methods: Nasal septal cartilages of rabbits were mechanically deformed and placed in a rigid jig. The deformed cartilages were submerged in isotonic phosphate buffered saline baths (osm = 290 mmol/Kg) with a pH of 3 (N = 51), pH of 7 (N = 51), and a pH of 11 (N = 51) for 15 minutes. Following re-equilibration, specimens were removed from their jig and the angle change from baseline was measured using digital micrometry. Results: Significant shape change was noted in all specimens, with an angle change of 33.6°, 33.3°, and 32.0° experienced by the pH of 3, 7, and 11 groups, respectively. Despite a trend towa .......