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J Mater Sci Mater Med. 2000 Aug;11(8):517-21.

An improved peel test method for measurement of adhesion to biomaterials.

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Biomedical Engineering Department, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA.


Adhesion of tissues to biomaterials is desirable to prevent bacterial proliferation and for epithelial/transmucosal sealing of transcutaneous appliances, but can be counter-productive elsewhere, e.g. implants contacting tendons or maxillofacial subcutaneous tissue. It is therefore important to gauge adhesion strength of tissues to biomaterials before clinical use. Peel-testing is widely used for industrial product adhesion monitoring, but has rarely been applied biomedically. Here we describe peel-testing instrumentation designed for testing adherence of soft tissues to biomaterials. It offers the advantage that a 90 degrees angle between peel and substrate is maintained, simplifying determination of applied normal forces separating tissue layers from material surfaces. The device is portable and can be brought directly to the specimen removal site. This minimizes time delays between explantation and testing, maintaining the tissue/biomaterial interface in the freshest possible state closely approximating in vivo conditions, and so avoids measurement artifacts. So far, the instrument has been used to test adhesion of tape to a biomaterial surface (for determining the device's technical performance), assess strength of tissue adhesives, and measure adhesion of subcutaneous tissue to orthopaedic biomaterials. However, its versatility suggests additional applications for the peel-tester where adhesion of soft tissue to biomaterials is of interest.


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