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RWTH Aachen University Develops and Tests Biohybrid Implants with ZwickRoell Biaxial Testing Machine

With over 45,000 students, 564 professors and 260 institutes, RWTH Aachen University is the largest technical university in Germany with the claim to be one of the best technical universities in the world.

In the context of interdisciplinary cooperation between the Department of Biohybrid & Medical Textiles (BioTex) of the Institute of Applied Medical Technology (AME) and the Medical Textiles & Biofabrication division of the Institute of Textile Technology (ITA), innovative textile-based biohybrid systems are being developed in the context of regenerative medicine, from fibres to textiles and living implants. A biomimetic textile reinforcement structure in the living tissue ensures sufficient strength and long-term stability of the cultured implants.

The tissues to be replaced in the body are predominantly subject to anisotropic and multiaxial stress states. With regard to a successful evaluation of the cultivated implants, using a biaxial testing machine from ZwickRoell in Fürstenfeld for approximating loading states present in the body is key.

Currently, biological tissues such as pig vocal cords as well as electrospun fiber-reinforced heart valve scaffolds are subjected to biaxial testing. The goal of these tests is to mimic the physiological loading state of cultivated implants in human bodies in order to be able to compare the behavior of the tested materials with native tissues and determine anisotropic properties.

The maximum test load of the testing machine is 500 N per load cell, with two load cells each in the X and in the Y direction. The integrated, height-adjustable liquid basin enables testing in tempered liquid mediums. Strain measurement is performed using a non-contact extensometer in accuracy class 1. Various specimens are held securely and slip-free by flexible hooks or clamps with pin-plates or pyramid jaws.

The aforementioned institute of RWTH Aachen has already implemented a comprehensive range of test equipment from ZwickRoell. As a result, the institute greatly values the quality and reliability, as well as the robust measurement technology, the comprehensive accessories portfolio, and the excellent service provided by ZwickRoell.