Development and Implementation of Mechanical Testing Methods for Tissue-engineered Vascular Grafts
A recurring issue of synthetic vascular grafts is finding a mechanically strong material that is able to withstand high stresses but also flexible enough be compliant within cyclically changing physiological pressures. An ideal tissue-engineered vascular graft is compatible at varying blood pressures and has similar elastic properties as native vessels. Mechanical property testing of the graft material is, therefore, an important step in assessing a graft’s viability.
The Cardiovascular Regenerative Engineering Laboratory has approached this problem by fabricating novel magnetic grafts by electrospinning polyurethane (PU) and stainless-steel magnetic powder (2205) at various mass ratios. CaRE then developed a test bench and two MATLAB applications to perform dynamic radial compliance and pressurized burst strength testing on the synthesized vascular grafts. The Test Bench allows for testing and comparison of various sizes or materials of synthesized vascular grafts, and mechanical responses for both dynamic radial compliance and pressurized burst strength have been investigated for grafts of varying mass ratios.
Fig: Measurement of the dynamic radial compliance of a vascular graft by applying a cyclic fluid pressure and using a laser micrometer to measure the diameter change.
This project was selected for funding from Marquette’s 2019 summer undergraduate research fellowship.
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