Spherical indentation of free-standing acellular extracellular matrix membranes

Aidan J. Cloonan, Michael R. O'Donnell, William T. Lee, Michael T. Walsh, Eamonn De Barra, Tim M. McGloughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Numerous scaffold materials have been developed for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications to replace or repair damaged tissues and organs. Naturally occurring scaffold materials derived from acellular xenogeneic and autologous extracellular matrix (ECM) are currently in clinical use. These biological scaffold materials possess inherent variations in mechanical properties. Spherical indentation or ball burst testing has commonly been used to evaluate ECM and harvested tissue due to its ease of use and simulation of physiological biaxial loading, but has been limited by complex material deformation profiles. An analytical methodology has been developed and applied to experimental load-deflection data of a model hyperelastic material and lyophilized ECM scaffolds. An optimum rehydration protocol was developed based on water absorption, hydration relaxation and dynamic mechanical analysis. The analytical methodology was compared with finite element simulations of the tests and excellent correlation was seen between the computed biaxial stress resultants and geometry deformations. A minimum rehydration period of 5 min at 37 °C was sufficient for the evaluated multilaminated ECM materials. The proposed approach may be implemented for convenient comparative analysis of ECM materials and source tissues, process optimization or during lot release testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-273
Number of pages12
JournalActa Biomaterialia
Issue number1
Early online date12 Aug 2011
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Spherical indentation of free-standing acellular extracellular matrix membranes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this