MME - Research Areas - Biomechanics Laboratory

Novel Biomaterials for Grafts / Scaffolds and Biomechanics Laboratory

R. Vernon McBroom Professor: Dr. Yuris Dzenis

This laboratory is used for the development and characterization of novel biomimetic  tissue engineering scaffolds and vascular grafts.

  • Precision, modeling-guided nanomanufacturing of nanofilamentary tissue engineering scaffolds. Control of nanofiber diameter, alignment, sheet thickness, layering. Integrated nanomanufacturing of 2D/3D nanofilamentary assemblies. Techniques to incorporate cells during manufacturing.
  • Cell-scaffold interaction analysis and mechanotransduction testing via fluid shear and/or mechanical stretch bioreactors (collaboration with Cell Culture and Mechanotransduction Lab – Dr. J.-Y. Lim, MME, UNL).
  • Biaxial soft tissue testing facility. Independent axis control and multiple load cells for a wide range of loadings and load paths. High-speed actuators to reproduce in vivo speed loadings. Temperature controlled saline bath to simulate physiological conditions. Biaxial stretch measurements with remote camera. 3D strain field measurement capability through ARAMIS. Tissue preparation station and storage facilities. Data analysis station with a database of tested materials. Computational station and software for cardiovascular biomechanics simulations.
  • Additional instrumentation, computational facilities, and software for image analysis, tissue testing, arterial flow simulation, endovascular surgery training, and computational modeling is available through collaboration with Drs. A. Kamenskiy and J. MacTaggart, CASEA, UNMC.
  • Modeling-guided design and manufacture of biomimetic vascular grafts. Soft, non-linear nanofilamentary grafts mimicking biological tissue. Anisotropic / layered / 3D vascular grafts. Modeling-guided nanofiber deposition and assembly. Manufacture of flat or curved patches and tubular grafts, including complex geometries with branches and bifurcations.
  • Design of non-linear grafts for properties. Explicit 3D non-linear predictive models of mechanics of nanofilamentary materials with explicit representation of non-linear nanofiber constitutive properties, nanofiber diameter, bonded / frictional nanofiber contacts, and nanofiber orientation distribution. Uni-axial, bi-axial, shear behavior of at large deformations. In-situ testing to evaluate microstructure evolution during deformation.
  • Unique facility for mechanical testing of individual nanofibers through failure. Evaluation of nanofiber non-linear behavior and toughness for optimization of nanofilamentary materials using modeling.
  • Microinjection apparatus for probing live cells. Optical and fluorescence observations, precision movement, pressure cell holding. Nanopumps and nanomanipulators. Devices for intracellular probing and manipulation of mammalian and plant cells. In-situ probing of hydrated cells and tissues in Environmental FE-SEM with specimen cooling and water pressure control. Tissue/biomaterial drying observation.
  • Instruments and fixtures for quasi-static and large cycle fatigue testing of materials for scaffolds, grafts, stents, and stent-grafts. Axial, torsion, axial/torsion and creep testing. Environmental testing. Evaluation of microstructure evolution, damage, and failure mechanisms and progression. Viscoelastic properties measurement. Durability testing for materials optimization.