Environmental Dynamic Mechanical Analysis to Predict the Softening Behavior of Neural Implants
When using dynamically softening substrates for neural implants, it is important to have a reliable in vitro method to characterize the softening behavior of these materials. In the past, it has not been possible to satisfactorily measure the softening of thin films under conditions mimicking body environment without substantial effort. This publication presents a new and simple method that allows dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) of polymers in solutions, such as phosphate buffered saline (PBS), at relevant temperatures. The use of environmental DMA allows measurement of the softening effects of polymers due to plasticization in various media and temperatures, which therefore allows a prediction of the materials behavior under in vivo conditions.