Of all the internal organs, mechanical behavior of the lung is arguably most closely related to physiologic function. In inflation and deflation, lung parenchyma may be treated as an elastic material with some viscous damping. However, quasi-plasticity is observed, in the form of atelectasis, which is the localized collapse of alveoli under different conditions. General anesthesia in lung is known to increase tendency for pulmonary atelectasis, and this condition is typically removed by mechanical inflation to high pressures, which can be hazardous. The specific mechanisms of atelectasis are not fully known, one reason for this being the difficulty in developing a direct characterization method to perform causal investigations. In a previous abstract, we described the potential for controlled indentation tests to probe atelectatic tendency in lung. In this talk, we present the first results of ‘hardness testing’ on dog and rabbit lung, using different inflation schemes. Specifically, we indented excised lungs at physiologic pressures, inflated with air, pure oxygen, and 0.2% isoflurane in oxygen. Between these three conditions, we found marked differences in ‘hardness’ of the lung, when indented with tip radii comparable to that of ribs. That is to say, large contrasts in residual impressions, as well as re-inflation behavior, were observed. In addition, effects of different inflation gases occurred within a much shorter time than previously reported in other surgical experiments, indicating perhaps different, faster mechanisms controlling atelectasis than previously considered.