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Mechanical Characterization of Biomaterials and Soft Tissue

Cardiovascular Engineering

Static and dynamic characterization of biomaterials and tissues under physiological conditions

Mechanical Characterization of Biomaterials and Soft Tissue

A BOSE Electroforce testbench system is used for lower forces and high dynamic measurements. The system allows tensile and endurance testing under controlled environmental conditions. An universal testing machine is used for larger specimens with high strains and forces. The system is equipped with a contactless strain measurement and a module to apply also dynamic loading cycles. With these setups, various biomaterials like blood vessels, tendons, heart valves and vascular grafts are analyzed.

Investigation of the mechanical interaction between implants and natural tissues

The interaction of natural tissue with implants is of great interest. This requires the integration of natural tissue and structures in technical test setups. Such test setups are developed that mimic the natural heartbeat, pressures and flows. E.g. Centering forces that act on transvalvular cannulas, were identified in an in-vitro setup for several valves and valve types. In another system, we can mimick the forces and hydraulics in biological aortae. This system was used to investigate the effect of bicuspid aortic valves on flow jets and resulting pressures, and also to demonstrate the stiffness effect of grafts in the aortic root to the increase of waterhammer and pressure load to the aortic valve.

Endurance testers for cardiovascular applications

For the development of small diameter vascular grafts testing methods that mimic the real in vivo pulsatile loading are required. Therefore endurance test setups have been developed, which allow the application of physiologic pressures and flow for long term measurements even of porous grafts with considerable leakage. With this setups, physiologic conditions can be kept for several weeks.