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Comparison of the direct burst pressure and the ring tensile test methods for mechanical characterization of tissue-engineered vascular substitutes

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Tissue engineering provides a promising alternative for small diameter vascular grafts, especially with the self-assembly method. It is crucial that these grafts possess mechanical properties that allow them to withstand physiological flow and pressure without being damaged. Therefore, an accurate assessment of their mechanical properties, especially the burst pressure, is essential prior to clinical release. In this study, the burst pressure of self-assembled tissue-engineered vascular substitutes was first measured by the direct method, which consists in pressurizing the construct with fluid until tissue failure. It was then compared to the burst pressure estimated by Laplace׳s law using data from a ring tensile test. The major advantage of this last method is that it requires a significantly smaller tissue sample. However, it has been reported as overestimating the burst pressure compared to a direct measurement. In the present report, it was found that an accurate estimation of the burst pressure may be obtained from a ring tensile test when failure internal diameter is used as the diameter parameter in Laplace׳s law. Overestimation occurs with the method previously reported, i.e. when the unloaded internal diameter is used for calculations. The estimation of other mechanical properties was also investigated. It was demonstrated that data from a ring tensile test provide an accurate estimate of the failure strain and the stiffness of the constructs when compared to measurements with the direct method.

Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, Vol. 34, 253–263 (2014)
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Burst pressure , Laplace׳s law , Mechanical properties , Ring tensile test , Tissue engineering , Vascular substitutes
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article de recherche