Aims: We aim at developing a non-invasive method for grading and diagnosing urinary bladder outlet obstruction, based on noise recording with a perineal contact microphone during voiding. We found that the noise production during voiding depends amongst others on the viscoelastic properties of the urethral wall. To further test our method, we need a realistic biophysical model of the male urethra. Methods: We made various model urethras with different viscoelastic properties from a 10% aqueous solution of polyvinyl alcohol cryogel. We measured the viscoelastic properties of each model and compared them to those of the male pig urethra. The male pig urethra was used, as it is physiologically comparable to the human male urethra. The viscoelastic properties of both model and pig urethras were measured by applying strain to the urethral wall in a stepwise manner and recording the pressure response. We fitted the step-response of a mechanical model to this pressure response and derived the viscoelastic properties from the coefficients of this response. Results: A uniform model urethra that was freeze-thawed three times, with a Y-shaped flow channel was found to best represent the male pig urethra. Conclusions: We consider the three times freeze-thawed model urethra with a Y-shaped flow channel the best model of the human male urethra. And we therefore use this model urethra for studying the relation between noise recording during urine flow and the degree of bladder outlet obstruction.

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Keywords Male pig urethra, Non-invasive urodynamics, Polyvinyl alcohol cryogel, Viscoelastic properties
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Journal Neurourology and Urodynamics
Idzenga, T, Pel, J.J.M, & van Mastrigt, R. (2006). A biophysical model of the male urethra: Comparing viscoelastic properties of polyvinyl alcohol urethras to male pig urethras. Neurourology and Urodynamics, 25(5), 451–460. doi:10.1002/nau.20282