Biomechanical characterization of human amniotic membrane preparations for ocular surface reconstruction

Roy S. Chuck, Jordan M. Graff, Michael R. Bryant, Paula M. Sweet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate the tensile and elastic properties of both commercially available and experimental human amniotic membrane preparations. Method: Nine preparations of human amniotic membrane were studied. The four dry preparations were untreated (nonirradiated, n = 20), and gamma (n = 25), low-dose (AmbioDry®, Okto Ophtho Inc., Costa Mesa, Calif., USA, n = 20) and high-dose (n = 20) electron beam sterilized. The same dry membranes were moistened with balanced salt solution (n = 20, 34, 20 and 20, respectively). The ninth group consisted of thawed medium-frozen amniotic membrane (AmnioGraft®, Bio-Tissue Inc., Miami, Fla., USA, n = 20). The membranes were cut into thin strips, loaded on a gram range load sensor, and stretched incrementally to the point of rupture. The modulus of elasticity, displacement until rupture and maximum tolerated stress were recorded and compared. Results: The dry preparations exhibited higher moduli of elasticity when compared with the moist samples, with the low-dose electron beam-irradiated samples having the greatest mean modulus of elasticity overall and maintaining a high modulus of elasticity as a moist sample (p < 0.05). Moist nonirradiated preparations and thawed medium-frozen preparations stretched the farthest before rupture and experienced the greatest mean stresses at the point of rupture. While 3 of 4 membranes had greater stretch when moistened as compared to their dry counterparts, there was no difference in the membrane stiffness between dry and moistened low-dose electron beam-irradiated samples (p > 0.8). Conclusions: Low-dose electron beam-irradiated amnion appeared to maintain desirable elastic characteristics in transition from a dry to rehydrated state and may thus provide an easy-to-manipulate transplant tissue for ocular surface reconstruction. Moist nonirradiated and thawed medium-frozen tissues, however, may provide surgical advantages as they required greater forces to rupture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-348
Number of pages8
JournalOphthalmic Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Amniotic membrane
  • Biomechanical properties
  • Ocular surface reconstruction
  • Transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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