The function of ligaments and tendons is to transmit tensile forces, allowing healthy, bodily motion. However, if improper loading is placed on the tissue, the structures may rupture leading to pain, loss of function, and reduced quality of life. To prevent rupture, loads must remain below the ultimate strength of the tissue, but the maximum stress that the tissue can withstand varies due to several factors such as age, sex, body temperature, loading history, hydration state, and strain rate. These factors can be tested in order to understand how they affect tissue failure risk. Therefore, the objective of our research is to design and develop a lab procedure for future students to complete that experimentally characterizes the biological tissue mechanics. Load carrying tissues can be characterized by their stress-strain behavior utilizing a tensile tester. Using the tensile tester, the lab will consist of several experimental tests: freeze thaw cycles, varying strain rates, stress relaxation, and varying hydration. Creating a lab procedure for these experiments will allow students to describe both the viscoelastic properties of the tissue and the influences of strain rate on ultimate stress and ultimate strain. By measuring these quantities, we can gain a better understanding on the factors that affect tissue failure risk allowing for better treatment methods for injured athletes.
Evans, Nick and Luke, Bethany, "Experimental Characterization of Biological Tissue Mechanics" (2021). Summer Interdisciplinary Research Symposium. 105.