A Theoretical Framework to Analyze Bend Testing of Soft Tissue

[+] Author and Article Information
Mark A. Nicosia

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Widener University, Chester, PAmanicosia@widener.edu

J Biomech Eng 129(1), 117-120 (Jul 31, 2006) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2401191 History: Received October 23, 2005; Revised July 31, 2006

It has been hypothesized that repetitive flexural stresses contribute to the fatigue-induced failure of bioprosthetic heart valves. Although experimental apparatuses capable of measuring the bending properties of biomaterials have been described, a theoretical framework to analyze the resulting data is lacking. Given the large displacements present in these bending experiments and the nonlinear constitutive behavior of most biomaterials, such a formulation must be based on finite elasticity theory. We present such a theory in this work, which is capable of fitting bending moment versus radius of curvature experimental data to an arbitrary strain energy function. A simple finite element model was constructed to study the validity of the proposed method. To demonstrate the application of the proposed approach, bend testing data from the literature for gluteraldehyde-fixed bovine pericardium were fit to a nonlinear strain energy function, which showed good agreement to the data. This method may be used to integrate bending behavior in constitutive models for soft tissue.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Photograph of experimental apparatus used by Mirfanji (5) used to test bending properties of soft tissue. Figure reprinted from (5), Copyright (2005), with permission from Elsevier.

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Figure 2

Schematic illustrating the finite element model to simulate the bend test. Dimensions used in the simulation are: L=25mm, d=6mm, and t=1mm.

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Figure 3

Schematic for the pure bending of a hyperelastic beam under finite deformation conditions (plane strain)

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Figure 4

Strain distribution during representative bend test: normal strain (upper plot) and shear strain (lower plot)

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Figure 5

Comparison of bending data presented in the literature with model predictions using the proposed method with (a) neo-Hookean and (b) second-order strain energy functions



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