Mechanosensitivity of the Nervous System

Volume 2 of the series Mechanosensitivity in Cells and Tissues pp 249-279

Mechanical Properties of Brain Tissue: Characterisation and Constitutive Modelling

  • J.A.W. van DommelenAffiliated withMaterials Technology Institute, Eindhoven University of Technology
  • , M. Hrapko
  • , G.W.M. Peters


The head is often considered as the most critical region of the human body for life-threatening injuries sustained in accidents. In order to develop effective protective measures, a better understanding of the process of injury development in the brain is required. Finite Element (FE) models are being developed, in order to predict the mechanical response of the contents of the head during impact. To obtain accurate predictions of the mechanical response of the brain, an accurate description of the mechanical behaviour of brain tissue is required. However, up to now no universally accepted data set for the constitutive response of brain tissue exists. The large variation in material properties reported may be caused by differences in testing methods and protocols used. An overview of studies on the mechanical properties of brain tissue is presented, focusing on testing methods. Furthermore, the large strain mechanical response of brain tissue as well as modelling approaches for this behaviour are discussed.


Brain Tissue Constitutive Model Mechanical Properties Rheology Viscoelasticity