One common component of otolaryngological surgeries is the reshaping of cartilage. Previous studies have demonstrated the efficient achievement of this procedure through electromechanical reshaping (EMR), a technique that involves the direct application of voltage to cartilage that is mechanically deformed in a jig. Two main parameters, voltage and application time, may be regulated to achieve varying degrees of shape change. Although prior research has correlated these EMR parameters with degree of shape change, it remains necessary to correlate the same parameters with the
degree of change in the mechanical properties of tissue. Once this is accomplished, an ideal balance may be determined, in which shape change is maximized while intrinsic tissue damage is minimized This study satisfies this need by providing comprehensive data on the pre- and post-EMR stiffness of both septal and auricular cartilage over a range of voltages (2-8V) with constant application time (2 min for septal, 3 min for auricular). EMR was applied using flat platinum electrodes to one of two 15 mm X 5 mm samples obtained from the same cartilage specimen, while the second sample was maintained as a control. Following a 15 min re-hydration period, the Young's modulus of the tissue was calculated for both the control and experimental sample from data obtained through a uniaxial tension test. A general
reduction in stiffness was observed beginning at 3V, with the magnitude of reduction increasing at 6V.