HardwareX: An Open-Source Membrane Stretcher for Simultaneous Mechanical and Structural Characterizations of Soft Materials and Biological Tissues

Published: 6 June 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/r4tf5fjzvv.1
Shannon Li,


In this work, we introduce an open-source stretching system that can apply uniaxial strain at a sub-μm resolution, report the tensile force response of the sample, and be mounted on an inverted microscope for real-time imaging. Our system consists of a pair of stepper-based linear motors that stretch the sample symmetrically, a force transducer that records the sample tensile force, and an optically clear sample holder that allows for high-magnification microscopy. These files include the part files designed for this specific instrument that can be both manufactured and 3D-printed. There are also the files .dll and .vi files required to run the software control panel in LabVIEW to operate the instrument, perform analysis, and acquire data.



University of California Los Angeles


Mechanical Engineering, Confocal Microscopy, Strain Imaging, Stretch