Acta Mechanica

, Volume 205, Issue 1–4, pp 23–33 | Cite as

Constitutive equations for ligament and other soft tissue: evaluation by experiment

  • Sarah E. Duenwald
  • Ray VanderbyJr
  • Roderic S. Lakes


Ligaments, tendons and other soft tissues are nonlinearly viscoelastic. To discriminate among various constitutive equations which may be used to describe the tissue, appropriate experimental modalities are requisite. Ideally, testing should span physiologic ranges for load (or strain), load history (recovery and reloading), and load onset and duration, and a robust model will fit all data. Methods to expand the experimental window of time for relaxation and creep are presented and evaluated. The role of ramp, relaxation and recovery protocols is studied in the context of viscoelasticity describable by linear, quasi-linear, nonlinear superposition, Schapery, and multiple integral formulations. The advantages associated with testing protocols that expand the time windows for creep or relaxation are presented.


Constitutive Equation Stress Relaxation Strain Level Relaxation Modulus Relaxation Curve 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah E. Duenwald
    • 1
  • Ray VanderbyJr
    • 1
    • 2
  • Roderic S. Lakes
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedics and RehabilitationUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Engineering PhysicsUniversity of WisconsinWisconsinUSA

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