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Indentation across interfaces between stiff and compliant tissues

Oyen, ML and Armitage, OE Indentation across interfaces between stiff and compliant tissues. Acta Biomaterialia. (Unpublished)

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Abstract Bone–tendon, bone–ligament and bone–cartilage junctions are multi-tissue interfaces that connect materials that differ by two orders of magnitude in mechanical properties, via gradual variations in mineral content and matrix composition. These sites mediate load transfer between highly dissimilar materials and are consequently a primary site of injury during orthopedic failure. Given the large incidence rate and the lack of suitable surgical solutions for their regeneration or repair, characterization of their natural structure and subsequent replication through tissue engineering is important. Here, we evaluate the ability and accuracy of instrumented indentation to characterize the mechanical properties of both biological tissues and engineered scaffolds with interfaces between materials that contain significant changes in mechanical properties. In this study, finite element simulations and reference samples are developed that characterize how accurately indentation measures the modulus of a material as it varies with distance across a continuous interface between dissimilar tissues with multiple orders of magnitude difference in properties. Finite element simulations accurately predicted discrepancies between the modulus function across an interface observed by indentation and the true modulus function of the material and hence allow us to understand the limits of instrumented indentation as a technique for quantifying gradual changes in material properties. It was found that in order to accurately investigate mechanical property variations in tissues with significant modulus heterogeneity the indenter size should be less than 10 percent of the expected length scale of the modulus variations. Statement of Significance The interfaces between stiff and compliant orthopedic tissues such as bone–tendon, bone–ligament and bone–cartilage are frequent sites of failure during both acute and chronic orthopedic injury and as such their replication via tissue engineering is of importance. The characterization and understanding of these tissue interfaces on a mechanical basis is a key component of elucidating the structure-function relationships that allow them to function naturally and hence a core component of efforts to replicate them. This work uses finite element models and exeperiments to outline the ability of instrumented indentation to characterize the elastic modulus variations across tissue interfaces and provides guidelines for investigators seeking to use this method to understand any interface between dissimilar tissues.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: nanoindentation finite element enthesis elastic modulus
Divisions: Div C > Biomechanics
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2017 19:04
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2017 01:47