2009 Design of Medical Devices Conference Abstracts

The Biomechanics of Erections: Modeling the Penis as a One-Comparment Pressurized Vessel vs. Modeling it as a Two-Compartments Pressurized Vessel PUBLIC ACCESS

[+] Author and Article Information
A. Mohamed, A. Erdman, G. Timm

 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA

J. Med. Devices 3(2), 027542 (Jul 24, 2009) (1 page) doi:10.1115/1.3134782 History: Published July 24, 2009


Previous biomechanical models of the penis that have attempted to simulate penile erections have either been limited to two-dimensional geometry, simplified three-dimensional geometry or made inaccurate assumptions altogether. Most models designed the shaft of the penis as a one-compartment pressurized vessel fixed at one end, when in reality it is a two-compartments pressurized vessel, in which the compartments diverge as they enter the body and are fixed at two separate points. This study began by designing simplified two-dimensional and three-dimensional models of the erect penis using Finite Element Analysis (FEA) methods with varying anatomical considerations for analyzing structural stresses, axial buckling and lateral deformation. The study then validated the results by building physical models replicating the computer models. Finally a more complex and anatomically accurate model of the penis was designed and analyzed. There was a significant difference in the peak von-Mises stress distribution between the one-compartment pressurized vessel and the more anatomically correct two-compartments pressurized vessel. Furthermore, the two-compartments diverging pressurized vessel was found to have more structural integrity when subject to external lateral forces than the one-compartment pressurized vessel. This study suggests that Mother Nature has favored an anatomy of two corporal cavernosal bodies separated by a perforated septum as opposed to one corporal body, due to better structural integrity of the tunica albuginea when subject to external forces.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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