Biomechanical Study of Peristalsis -Simulation of Peristalsis in Case of Fluid Contents-
Yoji Umetani and Norio Inou
Faculty of Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ohokayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo, 152 Japan
The peristalsis, commonly observed in animals’small intestines, serves as a skillful transport of the intraluminal contents. It is supposed that a neural control mechanism for peristalsis is immanent in the intestines, but the structure has not yet been made clear. Some studies on the peristaltic movement in view of biomechanics have been reported. However, they have given little attention to the fluid property of the actual intraluminal contents such as chyme. The authors carried out a study of the neural mechanism using a mechanical simulator which can handle actual fluid contents. The simulator was composed of a thin plastic tube corresponding to intestinal walls and 16 actuators spaced at the same short intervals on the tube. Each actuator contracts vertically and deforms the tube. The simulator was controlled by a microcomputer which performs neurodynamical simulation in real time while sensing fluid contents in the tube by mechanical sensors of the simulator. The neural mechanism for peristalsis was researched by performing simulation experiments. And finally, a neural network model was obtained which can transport various viscid fluids. The simulation also showed that this model has the function of modifying the movement according to fluidity of contents.