Hydrogels, biopolymers and native biological materials all exhibit gradual deformation and recovery when subject to loading and unloading. This material property, known as viscoelasticity, is essential to function. The importance of the viscoelastic properties has become increasingly apparent within numerous fields of study, including tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. For example, hydrogels are often used as scaffolds to guide the development of engineered tissue, where they regulate the delivery of biochemical compounds and provide mechanical stimuli that govern tissue and cellular morphology. These functions are highly dependent on the local micromechanical properties of the polymer, attributes that cannot be assessed by traditional measurement techniques such as rheology and bulk compression testing. Similarly, fibrin clots form a fibrous scaffold after injury, preventing blood loss and promoting tissue formation. The mechanical properties of these fibrin clots are crucial to its ability to withstand the shear stress caused by blood flow and wound healing in general. In particular, the non-destructive testing of the mechanical properties of hydrated viscoelastic materials is critically important to our understanding of the roles they play in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and biological research.
We are proud to be the exclusive distributors of the Optics11 Piuma Nanoindenter in North America. The Piuma is specifically designed to match the needs of biomaterial researchers and tissue engineers, providing superior ease of use in a low-footprint and portable packaging, while providing high accuracy, throughput and versatility. Due to the Optics11 miniaturized glass probes, it is especially suitable for measuring hydrated samples in solutions. For researchers in the field of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, the Piuma Nanoindenter is a perfect solution to measure stiffness of their material of interest. In the (bio)materials, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine and medical research fields the Piuma Nanoindenter is the solution to non-destructively measure the Young’s Modulus of one specific spot or map an entire area, perform creep or relaxation experiments, measure and map sample adhesion, characterize strain-stiffening behavior, model sample viscosity, and more. Mapping the stiffness of soft (bio)material and tissue samples can be easily performed with the Piuma Nanoindenter thanks to the unique Optics11 Piuma probes and the dedicated Piuma Nanoindentation software suite. And the new Piuma Chiaro indentation head is specifically designed to map mechanical properties of samples on a microscope stage, even single cells.