2014 R&D 100 Winner
Hysitron Biomechanical Test InstrumentThe lack of an instrument capable of characterizing the mechanical properties of soft biological samples has long been an issue for biologists. Most mechanical property probing instruments have been originally designed for hard samples like metals and ceramics. Analytical models used to extract quantitative data such as hardness and modulus from these instruments had also been specifically developed for hard samples, and attempts by biomedical researchers to use them for soft samples would often yield inaccurate results.

Hysitron Inc. developed a nano- to microscale biomechanical test instrument with load noise floor of less than 30 nN that fills this gap by uniting indentation tools with an optically configured microscope. The instrument combines powerful optical imaging with in-situ mechanical characterization and high resolution scanning probe imaging to allow researchers to directly correlate optical characterization with mechanical properties of biological samples. A combination scanner and nanoscale force and displacement sensing transducer replaces a single optical objective on the microscope turret. The nanomechanical objective is capable of in-situ scanning probe microscopy (SPM), mechanical property mapping, and site specific mechanical property measurement. It also incorporates a high level of automation for testing, and transmitted light methods such as differential interference contrast, long off-limits to biomedical research, are now possible. The microscope is also capable of dynamic viscoelastic mechanical property measurement and mapping, which is a requisite technique for any time dependent materials, which includes most soft biological materials.

Biomechanical test instrument

Hysitron Inc.

Development Team

Hysitron Inc.'s Biomechanical Test Instrument development team (l-r): Sham Nayar, Derek Rasugu, Rajiv Dama, Syed Asif, Justin Patten, Craig Kossen and Bernie Becker.












The biomechanical test instrument Development Team from Hysitron Inc.
Syed Asif, Principal Developer
Rajiv Dama, Principal Developer
Sudhir D. Gudala, Principal Developer
Sham Nayar, Principal Developer
Douglas Stauffer, Principal Developer
Bernie Becker
Craig Kossen
Justin Patten
Derek Rasugu