Viscoelastic properties of bovine orbital connective tissue and fat: constitutive models
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- Yoo, L., Gupta, V., Lee, C. et al. Biomech Model Mechanobiol (2011) 10: 901. doi:10.1007/s10237-010-0281-z
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Reported mechanical properties of orbital connective tissue and fat have been too sparse to model strain–stress relationships underlying biomechanical interactions in strabismus. We performed rheological tests to develop a multi-mode upper convected Maxwell (UCM) model of these tissues under shear loading. From 20 fresh bovine orbits, 30 samples of connective tissue were taken from rectus pulley regions and 30 samples of fatty tissues from the posterior orbit. Additional samples were defatted to determine connective tissue weight proportion, which was verified histologically. Mechanical testing in shear employed a triborheometer to perform: strain sweeps at 0.5–2.0 Hz; shear stress relaxation with 1% strain; viscometry at 0.01−0.5 s−1 strain rate; and shear oscillation at 1% strain. Average connective tissue weight proportion was 98% for predominantly connective tissue and 76% for fatty tissue. Connective tissue specimens reached a long-term relaxation modulus of 668 Pa after 1,500 s, while corresponding values for fatty tissue specimens were 290 Pa and 1,100 s. Shear stress magnitude for connective tissue exceeded that of fatty tissue by five-fold. Based on these data, we developed a multi-mode UCM model with variable viscosities and time constants, and a damped hyperelastic response that accurately described measured properties of both connective and fatty tissues. Model parameters differed significantly between the two tissues. Viscoelastic properties of predominantly connective orbital tissues under shear loading differ markedly from properties of orbital fat, but both are accurately reflected using UCM models. These viscoelastic models will facilitate realistic global modeling of EOM behavior in binocular alignment and strabismus.