Mechanical characterization of artificial blood vessels

Natural blood vessels exhibit a specific deformation response to an internal pressure. Due to the complex design of the vessel wall, the compliance of a natural vessel decreases with increasing dilation. The ultimate goal of designing an artificial blood vessel is to mimic the mechanical behaviour of a natural blood vessel.

Linear and branched blood vessels can be studied in a testing set-up which is able to apply complex fluid pressure profiles to the vessel system. High resolution measurements of the vessel deformation can be recorded with a laser scanner, the 2-D strain response due to the bi-axial loading can be studied by image processing.  Since the set-up relies on non-contact measurements of the strain response, the measurements can also be carried out on vessels in a suitable bioreactor. Flow sensors are available for measuring the distribution of flows in a branched system.


  • Measurement of the compliance of (artificial) blood vessels; dilation - pressure - diagrams
  • Determination of the burst pressure of vessels
  • Measurement of the flow-distribution in branched systems
  • Optimal design of branched vessels systems  


  • BioRap – Herstellung bio-inspirierter Versorgungssysteme für Transplantate mittels Rapid Prototyping über Inkjet-Druck und Multiphotonenpolymerisation (funded by Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, 2008 - 2011)
  • ArtiVasc 3D – Artificial vascularised scaffolds for 3D-tissue regeneration (funded by the EU, 2011 - 2015)


  • Jaeger, R.; Bierwisch, C.; Ziegler, T.; Courseau, J.; Ebel, D.
    Additive manufacturing of an artificial blood vessel system: optimum lay-out and fluid-mechanical characterization.
    Regenerative Medicine 6(6, Suppl. 2), 2011,  p. 87
  • Novosel E.; Meyer, W.; Klechowitz, N.; Krüger, H.; Wegener, M.; Walles, H.; Tovar, G.; Hirth, T.; Kluger, P.
    Evaluation of Cell-Material Interactions on Newly Designed, Printable Polymers for Tissue Engineering Applications.
    Advanced Engineering Materials 13/12 (2011) B467–B475.
  • Novosel, E.; Meyer, W.; Wegener, M.; Krüger, H.; Borchers, K.; Kluger, P.; Tovar, G.; Walles, H.; Hirth, T.
    Characterization of endothelial cell-biomaterial interaction on newly  developed 3D-printable polymer surfaces for vascular grafts.
    Tissue Engineering Part A 17/3-4 (2011) 568-568.