The Use of Vibrational Optical Coherence Tomography in Matching Host Tissue and Implant Mechanical Properties
Synthetic implants, allografts, and xenografts are used for repair and replacement of tissues in numerous surgical applications each year. A number of the grafts used as hernia replacements or for repair of other tissues require revision surgery due to modulus mismatches that occur at the implant-tissue interface. A variety of
tests have been used to elucidate mechanical properties of tissues and implants that are not applicable to in vivo evaluations.
We have reported the use of vibrational optical coherence tomography (OCT) to image and measure the mechanical properties of both natural and synthetic polymers. In this paper, we discuss use of this technique to match moduli of host tissues and implants. While skin and other soft tissues have moduli of between 0.5 and 5.2 MPa under physiologic conditions, polymers have moduli between 56.5 MPa and 2000 MPa and metals have moduli up to 250,000 MPa. Use of vibrational OCT to image and determine the moduli of both host tissues and implants will lead to limiting modulus mismatches that contribute to implant failure. In addition, use of this technique will minimize the need to sacrifice animals in pre-clinical studies and reduce the number of biopsies needed to do differential diagnosis in the clinic.