Nanoindentation of Biological Tissues Comes to Surface

Dr. Wagoner Johnson of the University of Illinois has developed a method to accurately detect sample surface in the context of nanoindentation of biological materials. Nanoindentation is emerging as a powerful tool for measuring the mechanical properties of tissues. Such measurements have the power to determine local microstructural properties of tissue samples that can have a significant impact in understanding disease and pathology. However, a problem with nanoindentation of biological materials is the ability to detect the sample surface. Due to softness of biological tissue, nanoindentation probes start with a sink-in depth, which leads to inaccurate calculation of the elastic properties of the sample. Dr. Wagoner Johnson and her graduate student, Jie Wei, have developed a method to accurately determine sample surface in nanoindentation procedures, which can have a important implications in the field of nanoindentation.