Reliability Testing of Implantable Polyacrylamide Electroactive Hydrogels

Nathan Jackson, Peter Verbrugghe, Anika Embrechts, Paul Herijgers, Eduardo Mendes, and Frank Stam


Biomaterials, Electroactive Hydrogel, Cardiovascular, Reliability, Acrylamide


Cardiovascular disease affects millions of patients every year worldwide. Electroactive hydrogel polymers have the ability to swell or shrink in a fluid environment, which makes them an ideal candidate for preventing blood flow through blood vessels. The authors present preliminary reliability testing results of the long-term use of implanted EAP hydrogel material for intravascular applications. Mechanical testing was performed to determine the Young’s modulus and the pressure threshold to cause failure of the material in DI and Krebs solution. Accelerated testing was performed at elevated temperatures to determine the mean-time-to-failure using an Arrhenius model. The affects of various sized proteins on the EAP hydrogel were also investigated with and without electrical bias. An artificial circulation setup with mock blood vessels was used to determine the optimal dimensions of the EAP hydrogel material to prevent blood flow and the required minimum pressure to cause failure. The outcome of this study enables researchers to design EAP hydrogels with greater reliability and optimal shapes.

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