Viscoelastic and failure properties of spine ligament collagen fascicles

  • Scott R. LucasEmail author
  • Cameron R. Bass
  • Jeff R. Crandall
  • Richard W. Kent
  • Francis H. Shen
  • Robert S. Salzar
Original Paper


The microstructural volume fractions, orientations, and interactions among components vary widely for different ligament types. If these variations are understood, however, it is conceivable to develop a general ligament model that is based on microstructural properties. This paper presents a part of a much larger effort needed to develop such a model. Viscoelastic and failure properties of porcine posterior longitudinal ligament (PLL) collagen fascicles were determined. A series of subfailure and failure tests were performed at fast and slow strain rates on isolated collagen fascicles from porcine lumbar spine PLLs. A finite strain quasi-linear viscoelastic model was used to fit the fascicle experimental data. There was a significant strain rate effect in fascicle failure strain (P < 0.05), but not in failure force or failure stress. The corresponding average fast-rate and slow-rate failure strains were 0.098 ± 0.062 and 0.209 ± 0.081. The average failure force for combined fast and slow rates was 2.25 ± 1.17 N. The viscoelastic and failure properties in this paper were used to develop a microstructural ligament failure model that will be published in a subsequent paper.


Spine Ligament Fascicle Viscoelasticity Failure Biomechanics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott R. Lucas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cameron R. Bass
    • 2
  • Jeff R. Crandall
    • 3
    • 4
  • Richard W. Kent
    • 3
    • 5
  • Francis H. Shen
    • 6
  • Robert S. Salzar
    • 3
  1. 1.Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, Biomechanics PracticePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Center for Applied BiomechanicsUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Biomedical Engineering, Center for Applied BiomechanicsUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  5. 5.Department of Emergency Medicine, Center for Applied BiomechanicsUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  6. 6.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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