Development of an experimental model of the carotid bifurcation using electrically conductive silicone: an introduction to the incorporation of baroreceptor function within a mimetic model of the carotid artery
This study assesses the suitability of developing a material for use in an experimental model of the carotid baroreceptors. Such a model could then be used in future studies to assess the impact of carotid artery stenting on hemodynamic stability. The material must exhibit a significant measurable electrical response to strain in a fashion analogous to baroreceptor behaviour. A modified electrically conductive silicone (ECS) was examined for use as the material, which was generated from a combination of Wacker LR 3162 and silicone thinner. Samples of the ECS were subjected to uniaxial tensile testing and electrical stimulation in order to mechanically and electrically characterise the material. Testing revealed that the ECS exhibits mechanical behaviour comparable to published data on carotid arterial tissue up to 20% strain and a measurable electrical response to strain in a fashion qualitatively comparable to baroreceptor behaviour. These findings highlight the potential of this material for employment as an experimental model of the carotid baroreceptors.
Keywords: baroreceptor function, electrically conductive silicone, ECS, analogue biomaterials, material characterisation, carotid bifurcation, mimetic modelling, carotid artery, experimental modelling, carotid baroreceptors, stenting, hemodynamic stability, strain, tensile testing