Automation of a test bench for accessing the bendability of electrospun vascular grafts [article]

Martin Bensch, Marc Müller, Michael Bode, Birgit Glasmacher, University, My, University, My
One of the greatest challenges in cardiovascular tissue engineering is to develop vascular grafts with properties similar to autologous vessels. A promising approach is the fabrication of scaffolds from biodegradable polymers by electrospinning. Unstructured vascular subs possess a weak dimensional stability resulting in lumen collapse when subjected to bending stress. In order to examine different structured grafts, a standardised test method is required. A manual test method, designed in a
more » ... mer study, was adopted in terms of standardisation and automation. Therefore, a control system was programmed to regulate the required electronics. The electronic circuit was then developed and put into service. To fix samples into the test bench a new sample holder and a new collector for electrospinning were designed. Subsequently, a validation showed the new systems' improved functionality compared to the former test bench. The samples were manufactured with the new collector. They could be fixed to the sample holder with high repeatability. The demand for vascular grafts with biological and mechanical properties similar to autologous vessels requires a standardised test method to examine bendability. The new test system enables the scaffolds to be examined regarding bendability with low personal expense and a simultaneously high degree of reproducibility. In addition, the new collector geometry can be easily adapted to higher or lower inner diameters. Hence, a new sample geometry was developed within this work.
doi:10.15488/5338 fatcat:m5hpw4vbonav5dysz4gdzq73vi