Using digital image correlation to characterize local strains on vascular tissue specimens

Boran Zhou, Suraj Ravindran, Jahid Ferdous, Addis Kidane, Michael A. Sutton, Tarek Shazly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Characterization of the mechanical behavior of biological and engineered soft tissues is a central component of fundamental biomedical research and product development. Stress-strain relationships are typically obtained from mechanical testing data to enable comparative assessment among samples and in some cases identification of constitutive mechanical properties. However, errors may be introduced through the use of average strain measures, as significant heterogeneity in the strain field may result from geometrical non-uniformity of the sample and stress concentrations induced by mounting/gripping of soft tissues within the test system. When strain field heterogeneity is significant, accurate assessment of the sample mechanical response requires measurement of local strains. This study demonstrates a novel biomechanical testing protocol for calculating local surface strains using a mechanical testing device coupled with a high resolution camera and a digital image correlation technique. A series of sample surface images are acquired and then analyzed to quantify the local surface strain of a vascular tissue specimen subjected to ramped uniaxial loading. This approach can improve accuracy in experimental vascular biomechanics and has potential for broader use among other native soft tissues, engineered soft tissues, and soft hydrogel/polymeric materials. In the video, we demonstrate how to set up the system components and perform a complete experiment on native vascular tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere53625
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number107
StatePublished - Jan 24 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Journal of Visualized Experiments.


  • Biomechanics
  • Digital image correlation
  • Finite elasticity
  • Full field strain measurement
  • Issue 107
  • Molecular biology
  • Uniaxial tensile test
  • Vascular tissue


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