Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 24, Supplement 1, pp 67–74 | Cite as

The mechanical properties of the human cervical spinal cordIn Vitro

  • Lynne E. Bilston
  • Lawrence E. Thibault
Research Articles


The response of spinal cord tissue to mechanical loadings is not well understood. In this study, isolated fresh cervical spinal cord samples were obtained from cadavers at autopsy and tested in uniaxial tension at moderate strain rates. Stress relaxation experiments were performed with an applied strain rate and peak strain in the physiological range, similar to those seen in the spinal cord during voluntary motion. The spinal cord samples exhibited a nonlinear stress-strain response with increasing strain increasing the tangent modulus. In addition, significant relaxation was observed over 1 min. A quasilinear viscoelastic model was developed to describe the behavior of the spinal cord tissue and was found to describe the material behavior adequately. The data also were fitted to both hyperelastic and viscoelastic fluid models for comparison with other data in the literature.


Soft tissue Viscoelastic Quasilinear Spinal cord Human 


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lynne E. Bilston
    • 1
  • Lawrence E. Thibault
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic EngineeringUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphia

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