Bio-Indenter for Testing the Mechanical Properties of Tissues and Soft Materials

The Bio-indenter—an ex-situ variant of the Alemnis Standard Assembly (ASA)—is now supplied by Alemnis. It has been designed specifically for quantifying the mechanical properties of soft materials and tissues.

Integrated with the Relative Humidity Module (RHM) and the Miniaturized Load Cell (MLC), the Bio-indenter provides an in depth testing platform for a wide range of sample configurations (such as gels, tensile testing, micropillars, particles, etc.) in numerous environments (immersed in liquid, relative humidity, controlled temperatures, etc.).

The basic specifications of the Bio-indenter are as follows:

  • Displacement noise floor of less than 1 nm
  • Load noise floor of 4 µN
  • Displacement range is up to 100 µm (using DHP-100)
  • Applied load range varies from 10 µN to 500 mN (using MLC-0.5)

Besides these features, the Bio-indenter configuration can be linked to the OPT-MIC optical microscope with the help of a piezo-actuated XY displacement stage.

Specifications of the optical microscope are given below:

  • Objective with zoom (0.77x to 9.31x)
  • Field of view 0.8 x 0.6 mm
  • Includes a 1/3″ USB3 camera
  • Adjustable and coaxial illumination
  • Manual focus of more than +/−12.5 mm
  • A working distance of 28 mm

The Bio-indenter has been certified for many ground-breaking scientific research works. Some of these examples are given below.

Tensile Testing at the Microscale

With the help of a focused ion beam (FIB), microtensile specimens were generated to replicate ASTM 638 tensile specimen stress conditions. The tensile setup is validated by testing single-crystal GaAs and Si specimens.

Casari et al., European FIB Network, Grenoble, 2018: https://www.dora.lib4ri.ch/empa/islandora/object/empa%3A17607/datastream/PDF/Casari-2018-Design_and_validation_of_a-%28published_version%29.pdf

The tensile characteristics of bone extracellular matrix in transverse and axial orientations were assessed on the length scale of individual lamellae. FIB milling of ovine osteonal bone was conducted to create tensile test specimens, and two diverse failure modes were detected via post-failure high-resolution scanning electron micrographs and in-situ observation.

Casari et al., World Congress of Biomechanics, Dublin, 2018: https://www.dora.lib4ri.ch/empa/islandora/object/empa%3A17605/datastream/PDF/Casari-2018-Tensile_properties_of_bone_extracellular-%28published_version%29.pdf

Low-Temperature (Cryo) Testing of Nanocrystalline PdAu

A Low-Temperature Module (LTM-CRYO) was designed to analyze deformation mechanisms via experiments to measure the strain rate jump micropillar compression at temperatures as low as 125 K, in which hardness is plotted as a function of temperature.

Schwiedrzik et al., ECI Nanomechanical Testing, Dubrovnik, 2017: https://www.dora.lib4ri.ch/empa/islandora/object/empa%3A14860/datastream/PDF/Schwiedrzik-2017-In_situ_micromechanical_testing_inside-%28published_version%29.pdf

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