Determinations of the viscoelastic properties of extracellular matrices (ECMs) are becoming increasingly important for accurate predictive modeling of biological systems. Since the interactions of the cells with the ECM and surrounding fluid (e.g., blood, media) each affect cell behavior; it is advantageous to evaluate the ECM’s material properties in the presence of the hydrating fluid. Conventional rheometry methods evaluate the bulk material properties of gel materials while displacing the hydrating liquid film. Such systems are therefore nonideal for testing materials such as ECMs, whose properties change with dehydration. The new, patent pending, piezoelectrically actuated linear rheometer is designed to eliminate this problem. It uses a single cantilever to apply an oscillating load to the gel and to sense the gel’s deflection. Composed of two thin film piezopolymer layers, the cantilever uses one layer as the actuator, and the second piezopolymer layer to measure the lateral movement of its attached probe. The viscoelastic nature of the ECM adds stiffness and damping to the system, resulting in the attenuation and phase shift of the sensor’s output voltage. From these parameters, the ECM’s shear storage and loss moduli are then determined. Initial tests on the BioMatrix I and type I collagen ECMs reveal that the first prototype of the piezoelectrically actuated linear rheometer is capable of accurately determining the trend and order of magnitude of an ECM’s viscoelastic properties. In this paper, details of the rheometer’s design and operating principles are described.
A New Device for Measuring the Viscoelastic Properties of Hydrated Matrix Gels
Contributed by the Bioengineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the Bioengineering Division June 25, 2000; revised manuscript received December 10, 2001. Associate Editor: T. Turitto.
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Parsons , J. W., and Coger, R. N. (March 29, 2002). "A New Device for Measuring the Viscoelastic Properties of Hydrated Matrix Gels ." ASME. J Biomech Eng. April 2002; 124(2): 145–154. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1448822
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