The Quantification of Injectability by Mechanical Testing

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Injectable biomaterials are becoming increasingly popular for the minimally invasive delivery of drugs and cells. These materials are typically more viscous than traditional aqueous injections and may be semi-solid, therefore, their injectability cannot be assumed. This protocol describes a method to objectively assess the injectability of these materials using a standard mechanical tester. The syringe plunger is compressed by the crosshead at a set rate, and the force is measured. The maximum or plateau force value can then be used for comparison between samples, or to an absolute force limit. This protocol can be used with any material, and any syringe and needle size or geometry. The results obtained may be used to make decisions about formulations, syringe and needle sizes early in the translational process. Further, the effects of altering formulations on injectability may be quantified, and the optimum time to inject temporally changing materials determined. This method is also suitable as a reproducible way to examine the effects of injection on a material, to study phenomena such as self-healing and filter pressing or study the effects of injection on cells. This protocol is faster and more directly applicable to injectability than rotational rheology, and requires minimal post processing to obtain key values for direct comparisons.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere61417
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number159
Publication statusPublished - 13 May 2020


  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterial
  • Cement
  • Extrusion
  • Force
  • Hydrogel
  • Injectability
  • Issue 159
  • Mechanical testing
  • Testing method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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