A mathematical model for analyzing the elasticity, viscosity, and failure of soft tissue: Comparison of native and decellularized porcine cardiac extracellular matrix for tissue engineering

Tomer Bronshtein, Gigi Chi Ting Au-Yeung, Udi Sarig, Evelyne Bao Vi Nguyen, Priyadarshini S. Mhaisalkar, Freddy Yin Chiang Boey, Subbu S. Venkatraman*, Marcelle MacHluf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

The clinical success of tissue-engineered constructs commonly requires mechanical properties that closely mimic those of the human tissue. Determining the viscoelastic properties of such biomaterials and the factors governing their failure profiles, however, has proven challenging, although collecting extensive data regarding their tensile behavior is straightforward. The easily calculated Young's modulus remains the most reported mechanical measure, regardless of its limitations, even though single-relaxation-time (SRT) models can provide much more information, which remain scarce due to a lack of manageable tools for implementing these models. We developed an easy-to-use algorithm for applying the Zener SRT model and determining the elastic moduli, viscosity, and failure profiles of materials under different mechanical tests in a user-independent manner. The algorithm was validated on the data resulting from tensile tests on native and decellularized porcine cardiac tissue, previously suggested as a promising scaffold material for cardiac tissue engineering. This analysis yields new and more accurate measurements such as the elastic moduli and viscosity, the model's relaxation time, and information on the factors governing the materials' failure profiles. These measurements indicate that the viscoelasticity and strength of the decellularized acellular extracellular matrix (ECM) are similar to those of native tissue, although its elasticity and apparent viscosity are higher. Nonetheless, reseeding and culturing the ECM with mesenchymal stem cells was shown to partially restore the mechanical properties lost after decellularization. We propose this algorithm as a platform for soft-tissue analysis that can provide comparable and unbiased measures for characterizing viscoelastic biomaterials commonly used in tissue engineering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)620-630
Number of pages11
JournalTissue Engineering - Part C: Methods
Volume19
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes

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