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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 7089017, 7 pages
Research Article

Monitoring of Biological Changes in Electromechanical Reshaping of Cartilage Using Imaging Modalities

1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Hallym University, Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital, 7 Keunjaebong-gil, Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi-do 18450, Republic of Korea
2Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Medicine, Dankook University, 119 Dandae-ro, Dongnam-gu, Cheonan, Chungnam 31116, Republic of Korea
3Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic, University of California, Irvine, 1002 Health Sciences Rd., Irvine, CA 92612, USA

Received 2 August 2016; Revised 29 September 2016; Accepted 5 October 2016

Academic Editor: Jinsong Ren

Copyright © 2016 Seok Jin Hong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Electromechanical reshaping (EMR) is a promising surgical technique used to reshape cartilage by direct current and mechanical deformation. It causes local stress relaxation and permanent alterations in the shape of cartilage. The major advantages of EMR are its minimally invasive nature and nonthermal electrochemical mechanism of action. The purpose of this study is to validate that EMR does not cause thermal damage and to observe structural changes in post-EMR cartilage using several imaging modalities. Three imaging modality metrics were used to validate the performance of EMR by identifying structural deformation during cartilage reshaping: infrared thermography was used to sense the temperature of the flat cartilages (16.7°C at 6 V), optical coherence tomography (OCT) was used to examine the change in the cartilage by gauging deformation in the tissue matrix during EMR, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used to show that EMR-treated cartilage is irregularly arranged and the thickness of collagen fibers varies, which affects the change in shape of the cartilage. In conclusion, the three imaging modalities reveal the nonthermal and electromechanical mechanisms of EMR and demonstrate that use of an EMR device is feasible for reshaping cartilage in a minimally invasive manner.