Development of mechanical testing protocols for very soft tissues

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
St Vincent's Hospital
Group Leader Email Number Webpage
Dr Cathal O’Connell Personal web page
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Romane Blanchard Personal web page

Project Details

In vitro cartilage tissue growth in hydrogels creates complex heterogeneous structures that are challenging to mechanically characterize.
Currently, unconfined compression is used to assess the compression modulus of the regenerated cartilage in hydrogel matrix. Due to the inhomogeneities and their interaction with the fluid phase of the hydrated hydrogels, and to the viscoelastic properties of hydrogels, new techniques need to be investigated in order to obtain accurate measurement of the compressive stiffness modulus. Two new techniques will be investigated:

  • Confined compression: the aim of the project will be to design a porous indenter and a testing stage as illustrated in the frame.
  • Dynamic compression: the aim of this project will be to investigate the benefit of testing these soft materials using dynamic compression, in order to derive reproducible measurement of elastic and viscoelastic moduli.

This project would suit students with an interest in engineering, with prior experience or strong interest in learning Computer Aided Design, manufacturing techniques, and scientific programming software such as Matlab.

This project will provide opportunity for the student to take part in discovery projects embedded in a multidisciplinary team based at the 3DBioFab@ACMD, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne.

School Research Themes


Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Honours, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.



Research Node

St Vincent's Hospital

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