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Viscoelastic properties of the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS): a microscopic and mechanical study

Viscoelastic properties of the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS): a microscopic and mechanical study

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 21(4): 219-224

A study was undertaken to determine the physical properties and microscopic structure of the superficial musculoaponeurotic system (SMAS) tissue. Forty virginal specimens and eight reoperated specimens were examined. The following findings were discovered. 1) Microscopic appearance shows the SMAS to consist of collagen fibers, a relatively high concentration of elastic fibers interspersed with fat cells. 2) On scanning electron microscopy, the virginal SMAS shows the collagen fibers to have a similar convoluted appearance as in the dermis. There is some evidence of parallelization of the collagen fibers in the reexcised SMAS specimens. 3) Mechanical testing (Instron) demonstrates that both the SMAS and preauricular skin were subjected to a series of loading/ unloading tests at various rates, amplitudes, and stress relaxation tests. Both sets of specimens indicated definite viscoelastic properties. Although the mechanical behavior of both tissues was somewhat similar, the viscoelastic effect of the SMAS was less pronounced. A slackening effect of the SMAS indicated a gradual expansion of the SMAS postoperatively. These results could provide some indication of the long-term effects of SMAS surgery.

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Accession: 047937804

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9263540

DOI: 10.1007/s002669900113

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