With the emergence of wearable electronics, biomedical sensors, and biomaterials for regenerative medicine, it has been the increasing importance in better understanding the mechanical behaviors of soft materials such as elastomers and hydrogels. Besides, interactions with biomaterials/devices and soft biological components are also crucial in understanding how mechanical signals affects the biological functions of cells and tissues. However, it is challenging to precisely measure and characterize the mechanical behaviors of soft and biological matters due to their unique mesoscopic structure and mechanical properties. In this talk, I will introduce our experimental platform integrating fluorescent confocal microscope, micro-mechanical loading system, together with 3D imaging and analysis to measure the distribution and evolution of stress and strain in various soft materials and biological tissues under mechanical loading. I will also demonstrate how this micro-mechanics platform can be used in developing organ-on-a-chip to understand the effect of mechanical stimulation to tissues.
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