Experimental investigation into biomechanical and biotribological properties of a real intestine and their significance for design of a spiral-type robotic capsule
This article reports on the results and implications of our experimental investigation into the biomechanical and biotribological properties of a real intestine for the optimal design of a spiral-type robotic capsule. Dynamic shear experiments were conducted to evaluate how the storage and loss moduli and damping factor of the small intestine change with the speed or the angular frequency. The sliding friction between differently shaped test pieces, with a topology similar to that of the spirals, and the intestine sample was experimentally determined. Our findings demonstrate that the intestine's biomechanical and biotribological properties are coupled, suggesting that the sliding friction is strongly related to the internal friction of the intestinal tissue. The significant implication of this finding is that one can predict the reaction force between the capsule with a spiral-type traction topology and the intestine directly from the intestine's biomechanical measurements rather than employing complicated three-dimensional finite element analysis or an inaccurate analytical model. Sliding friction experiments were also conducted with bar-shaped solid samples to determine the sliding friction between the samples and the small intestine. This sliding friction data will be useful in determining spiral material for an optimally designed robotic capsule.