A novel method to dynamically image fiber alignment during mechanical testing, allowing direct correlation of mechanical properties to microstructural changes was developed. To demonstrate the capabilities of this system, both native tissue and tissue equivalents were tested. By testing both fresh and fixed tissues, it was possible to ascertain the effect of fiber alignment on loading. A combination of alignment imaging and preconditioning protocol enabled to determine the changes in the microstructure during preconditioning.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The NSF MRSEC-Artificial Tissues Program (DMR-9809364) primarily supported this work. Technical assistance of Dan Asleson and Luca Gunther and heart valve leaflets provided by Dr. Paul Iaizzo are also gratefully acknowledged.
- Glutaraldehyde fixation
- Polarized light microscopy
- Tissue fiber alignment
- Tissue mechanical testing