Planar_Slide3Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have recently published a paper in volume 34 of the Journal of Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials. The team’s research revolved around grafts for ventral hernia repair (VHR). In analyzing their new graft construct, the team employed a customized ADMET Planar Biaxial test machine.

VHR is still a challenge for surgeons. There are around 350,000 VHR cases per year and 24-43% of those patients fail to heal. Synthetic meshes and biological grafts are problematic solutions. The commonly used human acellular dermal matrix (HADM) grafts have poor long-term durability and often result in failure. The researchers hypothesized that by adding fiber-reinforcement to the graft, they would increase its strength and durability. This reinforced HADM (r-HADM) would be tested for its mechanical properties in comparison to the typical HADM grafts.

The two grafts were tested both new and after eight hours of in vitro degradation to model the life of a graft after implantation. In both cases, the grafts were tested statically and dynamically. A ball-burst test was employed to determine the static load-to-failure properties of both grafts. ADMET’s custom planar biaxial tester was equipped with a synchronized video system for strain analysis. Load and image data were analyzed to determine the biaxial biomechanical properties of the grafts. For dynamic testing, ball-burst testing was conducted up to 1000 cycles. Strain data from cycles 0, 10, 100, and 1000 were studied and compared.

The team discovered differences in the biomechanical properties between the HADM and r-HADM grafts. To see the full results, please consult the full paper available here.

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