Determining Applicability of Known Material Equations to Biomaterial Models and Basic Characterization of Blood Vessel Performance

Kevin P. Timms and Robert J. Wilkens. Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Dayton, 309 Stonemill Rd., Dayton, OH 45409

In order for biological materials and organs to be developed using tissue engineering, data needs to be obtained on the properties and performance capabilities of their healthy natural counterparts. Many proven and well-known models have been characterized for many materials. However, certain aspects of biomaterials are unique to this field of materials and their performance needs to be characterized, either with current models such as Young's Modulus and Poisson's Ratio, or with newly developed models. The cardiovascular system is being studied in particular because its main attribute, fluid flow, has been well characterized in non-biological systems.

The purpose of this experiment is to measure fluid mechanics performance of an elastic conduit under various amounts of tension with pulsatile flow. Specifically, the pressure drop and degree of pulse amplitude dampening will be measured for pulsatile flow across the tubing under axial tension. The data obtained will quantify the effect of tension on these two characteristics of fluid performance.

This data will reveal relationships for an analog system, blood vessels. The information obtained will provide better knowledge of the performance of the tubular section of the mammalian cardiovascular system and will provide data that can be specifically applied to blood vessels (which are contrastingly not fully cylindrical and vary in size, shape, and micro-structural properties from specimen to specimen). Furthermore, the experiment could provide relationships that suggest a mode of objective vessel abnormality detection in living biological organisms.

Future work will include quantifying these relationships using porcine arteries and non-Newtonian blood analogs.