On the Role of Human Umbilical Cord Biomechanics
The most abundant component of the human umbilical cord, the Wharton Jelly (WJ), is a mucous connective tissue consisting in a spongy network of interlacing collagen fibers that forms a continuous soft skeleton encasing umbilical vessels. The link between WJ structure and the pivotal cord function in providing unimpeded blood flow to the developing fetus is still poorly understood. We performed an advanced biomechanical characterization of human umbilical cord samples by planar equibiaxial tension tests. The intrinsic moiré technique was utilized for that purpose. A 3-D finite element analysis was then implemented to simulate the biomechanical response of the cord.