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Research Papers

Anisotropic Compressive Properties of Passive Porcine Muscle Tissue

[+] Author and Article Information
Renee Pietsch, Ryan Gilbrech, Rajkumar Prabhu, Jun Liao, Lakiesha N. Williams

Injury Biomechanics Laboratory,
Department of Agricultural and
Biological Engineering,
Mississippi State University,
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Benjamin B. Wheatley, Tammy L. Haut Donahue

Soft Tissue Mechanics Laboratory,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, CO 80523

Manuscript received February 15, 2014; final manuscript received July 1, 2014; accepted manuscript posted July 28, 2014; published online September 4, 2014. Assoc. Editor: David Corr.

J Biomech Eng 136(11), 111003 (Sep 04, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: BIO-14-1075; doi: 10.1115/1.4028088 History: Received February 15, 2014; Revised July 01, 2014; Accepted July 28, 2014

The body has approximately 434 muscles, which makes up 40–50% of the body by weight. Muscle is hierarchical in nature and organized in progressively larger units encased in connective tissue. Like many soft tissues, muscle has nonlinear visco-elastic behavior, but muscle also has unique characteristics of excitability and contractibility. Mechanical testing of muscle has been done for crash models, pressure sore models, back pain, and other disease models. The majority of previous biomechanical studies on muscle have been associated with tensile properties in the longitudinal direction as this is muscle's primary mode of operation under normal physiological conditions. Injury conditions, particularly high rate injuries, can expose muscle to multiple stress states. Compressive stresses can lead to tissue damage, which may not be reversible. In this study, we evaluate the structure–property relationships of porcine muscle tissue under compression, in both the transverse and longitudinal orientations at 0.1 s−1, 0.01 s−1, or 0.001 s−1. Our results show an initial toe region followed by an increase in stress for muscle in both the longitudinal and transverse directions tested to 50% strain. Strain rate dependency was also observed with the higher strain rates showing significantly more stress at 50% strain. Muscle in the transverse orientation was significantly stiffer than in the longitudinal orientation indicating anisotropy. The mean area of fibers in the longitudinal orientation shows an increasing mean fiber area and a decreasing mean fiber area in the transverse orientation. Data obtained in this study can help provide insight on how muscle injuries are caused, ranging from low energy strains to high rate blast events, and can also be used in developing computational injury models.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic showing fiber direction in the longitudinal (a) and transverse (b) directions

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Fig. 2

Experimental setup (Biomomentum MACH-1TM) for compression testing

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Fig. 3

Stress–strain response for fresh muscle in compression in the longitudinal direction at three strain rates

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Fig. 4

Stress–strain response for fresh muscle in compression in the transverse direction at three strain rates

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Fig. 5

Stress–strain response for fresh porcine muscle in compression, showing loading and unloading in the longitudinal direction

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Fig. 6

Stress–strain responses for fresh muscle in compression, comparing the longitudinal and transverse directions at strain rates of 0.1 s−1 (a), 0.01 s−1 (b), and 0.001 s−1 (c). # denotes statistical difference between peak response of longitudinal and transverse data.

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Fig. 7

Micrograph of H&E stained 0% strain (control) muscle with scale bar in micrometers

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Fig. 8

Micrograph of muscle compressed to 30% strain at 0.1 s−1 in the longitudinal (a) and transverse (b) directions with scale bar in micrometers and arrows showing the loading direction

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Fig. 9

Area fraction and mean area (mean with standard deviation error bars) values for all loading conditions. * denotes statistical difference from control and # denotes statistical difference from transverse loaded specimens at 50% strain.

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