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impact damageimpactormeccanobiologiamechanical stimulationmechanobiologyspinal cord


The present invention relates to a device for mechanical stimulation of biological material and a related process. It is a micro-impactor for impacting or exerting pressure on a biological sample. The device is particularly suitable for in vitro experiments in the field of mechanobiology and for the purpose of recreating conditions resulting from immediate (e.g., traumatic injury to the spinal cord or brain) or progressive (e.g., slow formation of compressive neoplastic masses) physical trauma.

Technical features

The micro-impactor comprises a small body, an actuator controllable by a connected controller, and a movable contact organ for interaction with a biological sample. The contact organ includes a contact end, a variable length spacer portion connected to both the contact and the body, and configured to distance the contact end from the body of the device, and a contact surface (varying in shape and size according to experimental requirements). The device also includes means of power supply. The stimulation device is designed to minimise electrostatic interference generated by operation, and can be used to mechanically stimulate an in vitro biological specimen while it is connected to sensors for measurement and data recording. In particular, the stimulation device makes it possible to measure the parameters of a sample during or immediately after an impact. The actuator used makes it possible to actuate the contact organ in a very wide range of speeds, forces and impact durations, even to recreate a minimal compression over time. TRL 4.

Possible Applications

  • International players (manufacturers) in the field of laboratory instrumentation and experimental set-ups, with strong and extensive distribution networks;
  • Medical instrument manufacturers;
  • Hospitals, clinics, laboratories.


  • Reproducible stimulation, which allows information about impacts to be gathered from the nervous system;
  • Adjustment of the impact over a wide range of speeds, of its force and duration; additional possibility of reproducing different impacts in series;
  • Installation in any imaging or electrophysiology set-up and used in various research areas.