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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 1/2018

On the influence of surface coating on tissue biomechanics – effects on rat bones under routine conditions with implications for image-based deformation detection

BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2018
Aqeeda Singh, Mario Scholze, Niels Hammer



Biomechanical testing using image-based deformation detection techniques such as digital image correlation (DIC) offer optical contactless methods for strain and displacement measurements of biological tissues. However, given the need of most samples to be speckled for image correlation using sprays, chemical alterations with impact on tissue mechanicals may result. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of such surface coating on the mechanical properties of rat bones, under routine laboratory conditions including multiple freeze-thaw cycles.


Two groups of rat bones, highly-uniform and mixed-effects, were assigned to six subgroups consisting of three types of surface coating (uncoated, commercially-available water- and solvent-based sprays) and two types of bone conditions (periosteum attached and removed). The mixed-effects group had undergone an additional freeze-thaw cycle at − 20 degrees. All bones underwent a three-point bending test ranging until material failure.


Coating resulted in similar and non-significantly different mechanical properties of rat bones, indicated by elastic moduli, maximum force and bending stress. Scanning electron microscopy showed more pronounced mechanical alterations related to the additional freeze-thaw cycle, with fewer cracks being present in a bone from the highly-uniform group.


This study has concluded that surface coating with water- or solvent-based sprays for enhancing image correlation for DIC and having an additional freeze-thaw cycle do not significantly alter mechanical properties of rat bones. Therefore, this method may be recommended as an effective way of obtaining a speckled pattern.
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