Dynamic Mechanical Tester for Piezoelectric Biomaterial Characterization

  • Arinzeh, Treena (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This grant application proposes the acquisition of a dynamical mechanical tester for thecharacterization of smart materials for consideration in the Defense University ResearchInstrumentation Program (DURIP). The PI, Treena Livingston Arinzeh, at the New JerseyInstitute of Technology (NJIT), is investigating the use of piezoelectric materials as a novel tissueengineering approach for spinal cord repair, which is currently supported by the Department ofDefense (DOD). Piezoelectric materials generate electrical activity in response to minutedeformations. She has developed nanofibrous, flexible piezoelectric materials that mimic thenative extracellular matrix during neural development. The acquisition of the dynamic mechanicaltester will allow for a unique capability at NJIT as well as the broader research community in thefields of smart materials and biomaterials. This equipment will enhance the quality of researchby enabling studies on the characterization of electromechanical properties of soft, fibrouspiezoelectric materials, which represent the latest in piezoelectric technologies, in physiologicalconditions. Other related research projects at NJIT, supported by the DOD, will use this equipmentfor the characterization of the mechanical properties of soft biological tissues, e.g. skin and brain,and hard tissues, e.g. skull, for use in numerical models examining external loading conditions onthe head/brain/neck system, and membranes. The equipment will support ongoing and newresearch projects that have significant military relevance. Battlefield injuries, such as spinal cordinjury (SCI) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), can be debilitating to the soldier with no successfultherapies to treat these conditions. The dynamic mechanical tester also will enhance researchrelatededucation by its incorporation into courses in multiple departments, including BiomedicalEngineering, Mechanical Engineering and Physics, at both the undergraduate and graduate levelsat NJIT.

Effective start/end date2/22/17 → …


  • U.S. Navy: $147,900.00


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