University of Minnesota
Department of Biomedical Engineering
http://www1.umn.edu/bme
612-624-4507

Go to Department of Biomedical Engineering home page.

Tissue Mechanics Laboratory

The mission of the Tissue Mechanics Laboratory is to provide specialized instruments and methods to characterize the mechanical properties of soft biological materials, provide quantitative loads to living tissues, foster research in these areas, and provide a resource for the University community and industrial partners.

Available Instruments


NanoIndenter XP Mechanical Properties Microprobe System

NanoIndenter XP Mechanical Properties Microprobe System

This is an automated system for instrumented indentation of materials. The system consists of a controlled indentation tip with force controlled vertical displacement. Force and displacement versus time are recorded during the indentation. The specimen is mounted on a precision controlled x-y stage for precise positioning of indentation. For hard materials, the standard outputs are hardness and elastic modulus. It can be used for soft tissues with custom data reduction algorithms. The system is controlled using TestWorks 4 software, allowing great flexibility in design and operation of custom testing protocols. The system has a lateral force option for scratch testing, a continuous stiffness module for continuous stiffness monitoring, and a higher precision test head.

Equipment

NanoIndenter XP microprobe hardware consists of: indenter, positioning microscope, and controlling hardware. A variety of tip geometries are available, including Berkovitch, cube corner, and cone.

 
Range
Resolution
Displacement
1.5 mm
<0.01 nm
DCM Mode: Loads
10 mN
1 nN
XP Mode: Loads
500 mN
50 nN
High Load: Loads
10 N
50 nN

 

Click here for additional equipment specifications (pdf).

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MicroBionix Testing System

MicroBionix Testing System

The MicroBionix® Testing System is a highly accurate and convenient system for low-force static and dynamic mechanical testing of biomaterials and soft tissue. Dual static and dynamic capabilities make it ideal for a broad range of monotonic, durability, and fatigue testing. Tests can be run in load, displacement, and strain control modes. Soft tissue applications include cyclic or step loading to analyze viscoelastic response, fracture mechanics, or fatigue.

Equipment

MTS MicroBionix Testing System hardware includes: computer with Testworks II software, vibration isolation table, various grips, and a video camera mount.

 
Range
Resolution
Displacement
12 mm
1 μm
Load Cell 1
5 N
5 mN
Load Cell 2
250 N
2.5 N

 

Click here for additional equipment specifications (pdf).

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Instron-Sacks Planar Biaxial Soft Tissue Testing System

Instron-Sacks Planar Biaxial Soft Tissue Testing System

The low-force planar-biaxial system is designed to perform mechanical testing and property analysis of natural and bioartificial soft tissues. The test system allows single- and multi-axis tests to be performed in position, load control, or strain control and provides maximum flexibility for meeting various soft tissue testing needs.

Equipment

The planar biaxial loading and control system consists of four Instron electromechanical MicroTester actuators and two four-axis FastTrack 8800 digital controllers. Video-based strain control system measures strain by tracking markers on specimen and controls the actuators based on this strain. Rapid imaging polarimeter provides pixel-wise alignment maps of loaded tissue.

 
Range
Accuracy
Resolution
Displacement
110 mm
0.1 μm
0.05 μm
Load Cell Set 1
5 N
0.05% of reading
0.05 N
Load Cell Set 2
500 N
0.05% of reading
5 N

 

Click here for additional equipment specifications (pdf).

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Training

In order to operate the TML equipment safely, properly, and in the most efficient manner, hands-on training is required. To set up a training session, contact Hallie Wagner at bmetml@umn.edu.

 

Reservations and Fees

After training has been completed, users must join the Google group tml@umn.edu to gain access to the Google calendar where they can reserve equipment and indicate the start and stop times.

For reservation calendar and fees information, click here (PDF, 67 KB).

Users must have a valid charge number on file with the equipment specialist.