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Keywords:

  • Nanomechanical;
  • Nanoindentation;
  • Time-Dependence;
  • Viscoelasticity;
  • Biological;
  • Biomedical

Nanoindentation techniques have recently been adapted for the study of biological materials. This feature will consider the experimental adaptations required for such studies. Following a brief review of the structure and constitutive behavior of biological materials, we examine the experimental aspects in detail, including working with hydrated samples, time-dependent mechanical behavior and extremely compliant materials. The analysis of experimental data, consistent with the constitutive response of the material, will then be treated. Examples of nanoindentation data collected using commercially-available instruments are shown, including nanoindentation creep curves of biological materials and relaxation responses of biomimetic hydrogels. Finally, we conclude by examining the current state and future needs of the biological nanoindentation community.