Now showing 1 - 10 of 19
  • Publication
    A high rate tension device for characterizing brain tissue
    (Sage Publications, 2012-03-08) ; ;
    The mechanical characterization of brain tissue at high loading velocities is vital for understanding and modeling traumatic brain injury. The most severe form of traumatic brain injury is diffuse axonal injury, which involves damage to individual nerve cells (neurons). Diffuse axonal injury in animals and humans occurs at strains >10% and strain rates >10 s−1. The mechanical properties of brain tissues at these strains and strain rates are of particular significance, as they can be used in finite element human head models to accurately predict brain injuries under different impact conditions. Existing conventional tensile testing machines can only achieve maximum loading velocities of 500 mm/min, whereas the Kolsky bar apparatus is more suitable for strain rates >100 s−1. In this study, a custom-designed high rate tension device is developed and calibrated to estimate the mechanical properties of brain tissue in tension at strain rates ≤ 90 s−1, while maintaining a uniform velocity. The range of strain can o be extended to 100% depending on the thickness of a sample. The same apparatus can be used to characterize the dynamic behavior of skin and other soft biological tissues by using appropriately sized load cells with a capacity of 10 N and above.
      292Scopus© Citations 9
  • Publication
    Characterization of the anisotropic mechanical properties of excised human skin
    The mechanical properties of skin are important for a number of applications including surgery, dermatology, impact biomechanics and forensic science. In this study, we have investigated the influence of location and orientation on the deformation characteristics of 56 samples of excised human skin. Uniaxial tensile tests were carried out at a strain rate of 0.012 s−1 on skin from the back. Digital Image Correlation was used for 2D strain measurement and a histological examination of the dermis was also performed. The mean ultimate tensile strength (UTS) was 21.6±8.4 MPa, the mean failure strain 54%±17%, the mean initial slope 1.18±0.88 MPa, the mean elastic modulus 83.3±34.9 MPa and the mean strain energy was 3.6±1.6 MJ/m3. A multivariate analysis of variance has shown that these mechanical properties of skin are dependent upon the orientation of the Langer lines (P<0.0001−P=0.046). The location of specimens on the back was also found to have a significant effect on the UTS (P=0.0002), the elastic modulus (P=0.001) and the strain energy (P=0.0052). The histological investigation concluded that there is a definite correlation between the orientation of the Langer lines and the preferred orientation of collagen fibres in the dermis (P<0.001). The data obtained in this study will provide essential information for those wishing to model the skin using a structural constitutive model.
      328Scopus© Citations 441
  • Publication
    Third- and fourth-order elasticities of biological soft tissues
    (Acoustical Society of America, 2010) ; ;
    In the theory of weakly nonlinear elasticity,Hamilton et al. [J. Acoust. Soc. Am.116, 41–44 (2004)] identified W=μI2+(A/3)I3+DI22 as the fourth-order expansion of the strain-energy density for incompressible isotropic solids. Subsequently, much effort focused on theoretical and experimental developments linked to this expression in order to inform the modeling of gels and soft biological tissues. However, while many soft tissues can be treated as incompressible, they are not in general isotropic, and their anisotropy is associated with the presence of oriented collagen fiber bundles. Here the expansion of W is carried up to fourth order in the case where there exists one family of parallel fibers in the tissue. The results are then applied to acoustoelasticity, with a view to determining the second- and third-order nonlinear constants by employing small-amplitude transverse waves propagating in a deformed soft tissue.
      232Scopus© Citations 44
  • Publication
    Automated Estimation of Collagen Fibre Dispersion in the Dermis and its Contribution to the Anisotropic Behaviour of Skin
    Collagen fibres play an important role in the mechanical behaviour of many soft tissues. Modelling of such tissues now often incorporates a collagen fibre distribution. However, the availability of accurate structural data has so far lagged behind the progress of anisotropic constitutive modelling. Here, an automated process is developed to identify the orientation of collagen fibres using inexpensive and relatively simple techniques. The method uses established histological techniques and an algorithm implemented in the MATLAB image processing toolbox. It takes an average of 15 s to evaluate one image, compared to several hours if assessed visually. The technique was applied to histological sections of human skin with different Langer line orientations and a definite correlation between the orientation of Langer lines and the preferred orientation of collagen fibres in the dermis (p<0.001,R 2 =0.95) was observed. The structural parameters of the Gasser–Ogden–Holzapfel (GOH) model were all successfully evaluated. The mean dispersion factor for the dermis was κ=0.1404±0.0028. The constitutive parameters μ, k 1 and k 2 were evaluated through physically-based, least squares curve-fitting of experimental test data. The values found for μ, k 1 and k 2 were 0.2014 MPa, 243.6 and 0.1327, respectively. Finally, the above model was implemented in ABAQUS/Standard and a finite element (FE) computation was performed of uniaxial extension tests on human skin. It is expected that the results of this study will assist those wishing to model skin, and that the algorithm described will be of benefit to those who wish to evaluate the collagen dispersion of other soft tissues.
      597Scopus© Citations 135
  • Publication
    Non-invasive evaluation of skin tension lines with elastic waves
    Background: Since their discovery by Karl Langer in the 19th Century, Skin Tension Lines (STLs) have been used by surgeons to decide the location and orientation of an incision. Although these lines are patient-specific, most surgeons rely on generic maps to determine their orientation. Beyond the imprecise pinch test, there still exists no accepted method for determining the STLs in vivo. Methods: (i) The speed of an elastic motion travelling radially on the skin of canine cadavers was measured with a commercial device called the Reviscometer R . (ii) Similar to the original experiments conducted by Karl Langer, circular excisions were made on the skin and the subsequent geometric changes to the resulting wounds and excised samples were used to determine the orientation of STLs. Results A marked anisotropy in the speed in the elastic wave travelling radially was observed. The orientation of the fastest wave was found to correlate with the orientation of the elongated wound (P < 0.001, R2 = 74%). Similarly, the orientation of fastest wave was the same for both in vivo and excised isolated samples, indicating that the STLs have a structural basis. Resulting wounds expanded by an average area of 9% (+16% along STL and −10% across) while excised skin shrunk by an average of 33% (23% along STL and 10% across). Conclusion: Elastic surface wave propagation has been validated experimentally as a robust method for determining the orientation of STLs nondestructively and non-invasively. This study has implications for the identification of STLs and for the prediction of skin tension levels, both important factors in reconstructive surgeries for both medicine and veterinary medicine.
      451Scopus© Citations 16
  • Publication
    Influence of preservation temperature on the measured mechanical properties of brain tissue
    The large variability in experimentally measured mechanical properties of brain tissue is due to many factors including heterogeneity, anisotropy, age dependence and post-mortem time. Moreover, differences in test protocols also influence these measured properties. This paper shows that the temperature at which porcine brain tissue is stored or preserved prior to testing has a significant effect on the mechanical properties of brain tissue, even when tests are conducted at the same temperatures. Three groups of brain tissue were stored separately for at least 1 h at three different preservation temperatures, i.e., ice cold, room temperature (22 °C) and body temperature (37 °C), prior to them all being tested at room temperature (∼22 °C). Significant differences in the corresponding initial elastic shear modulus μ (Pa) (at various amounts of shear, 0≤K≤1.0) were observed. The initial elastic moduli were 1043±271 Pa, 714±210 Pa and 497±156 Pa (mean±SD) at preservation temperatures of ice cold, 22 °C and 37 °C, respectively. Based on this investigation, it is strongly recommended that brain tissue samples must be preserved at an ice-cold temperature prior to testing in order to minimize the difference between the measured in vitro test results and the in vivo properties. A by-product of the study is that simple shear tests allow for large, almost perfectly homogeneous deformation of brain matter.
      642Scopus© Citations 29
  • Publication
    Determination of friction coefficient in unconfined compression of brain tissue
    Unconfined compression tests are more convenient to perform on cylindrical samples of brain tissue than tensile tests in order to estimate mechanical properties of the brain tissue because they allow homogeneous deformations. The reliability of these tests depends significantly on the amount of friction generated at the specimen/platen interface. Thus, there is a crucial need to find an approximate value of the friction coefficient in order to predict a possible overestimation of stresses during unconfined compression tests. In this study, a combined experimental–computational approach was adopted to estimate the dynamic friction coefficient μ of porcine brain matter against metal platens in compressive tests. Cylindrical samples of porcine brain tissue were tested up to 30% strain at variable strain rates, both under bonded and lubricated conditions in the same controlled environment. It was established that μ was equal to 0.09±0.03, 0.18±0.04, 0.18±0.04 and 0.20±0.02 at strain rates of 1, 30, 60 and 90/s, respectively. Additional tests were also performed to analyze brain tissue under lubricated and bonded conditions, with and without initial contact of the top platen with the brain tissue, with different specimen aspect ratios and with different lubricants (Phosphate Buffer Saline (PBS), Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and Silicone). The test conditions (lubricant used, biological tissue, loading velocity) adopted in this study were similar to the studies conducted by other research groups. This study will help to understand the amount of friction generated during unconfined compression of brain tissue for strain rates of up to 90/s.
      302Scopus© Citations 25
  • Publication
    Towards a predictive assessment of stab-penetration forces
    Collaborative research between the disciplines of forensic pathology and biomechanics was undertaken to investigate the hyperelastic properties of human skin, to determine the force required for sharp instrument penetration of skin, and to develop a finite element model, which reflects the mechanisms of sharp instrument penetration. These studies have led to the development of a 'stab metric', based on simulations, to describe the force magnitudes in stabbing incidents. Such a metric should, in time, replace the crudely quantitative descriptors of stabbing forces currently used by forensic pathologists.
      336Scopus© Citations 8
  • Publication
    Extreme softness of brain matter in simple shear
    We show that porcine brain matter can be modelled accurately as a very soft rubber-like material using the Mooney–Rivlin strain energy function, up to strains as high as 60%. This result followed from simple shear experiments performed on small rectangular fresh samples (2.5 cm3 and 1.1 cm3) at quasi-static strain rates. They revealed a linear shear stress–shear strain relationship (R2>0.97), characteristic of Mooney–Rivlin materials at large strains. We found that porcine brain matter is about 30 times less resistant to shear forces than a silicone gel. We also verified experimentally that brain matter exhibits the positive Poynting effect of non-linear elasticity, and numerically that the stress and strain fields remain mostly homogeneous throughout the thickness of the samples in simple shear.
      461Scopus© Citations 55
  • Publication
    Mechanical characterization of brain tissue in compression at dynamic strain rates
    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when local mechanical load exceeds certain tolerance levels for brain tissue. Extensive research has been done previously for brain matter experiencing compression at quasistatic loading; however, limited data is available to model TBI under dynamic impact conditions. In this research, an experimental setup was developed to perform unconfined compression tests and stress relaxation tests at strain rates ≤90/s. The brain tissue showed a stiffer response with increasing strain rates, showing that hyperelastic models are not adequate. Specifically, the compressive nominal stress at 30% strain was 8.83 ± 1.94, 12.8 ± 3.10 and 16.0 ± 1.41 kPa (mean ± SD) at strain rates of 30, 60 and 90/s, respectively. Relaxation tests were also conducted at 10%–50% strain with the average rise time of 10 ms, which can be used to derive time dependent parameters. Numerical simulations were performed using one-term Ogden model with initial shear modulus μo=6.06±1.44, 9.44 ± 2.427 and 12.64 ± 1.227 kPa (mean ± SD) at strain rates of 30, 60 and 90/s, respectively. A separate set of bonded and lubricated tests were also performed under the same test conditions to estimate the friction coefficient μ, by adopting combined experimental–computational approach. The values of μ were 0.1 ± 0.03 and 0.15 ± 0.07 (mean ± SD) at 30 and 90/s strain rates, respectively, indicating that pure slip conditions cannot be achieved in unconfined compression tests even under fully lubricated test conditions. The material parameters obtained in this study will help to develop biofidelic human brain finite element models, which can subsequently be used to predict brain injuries under impact conditions.
      482Scopus© Citations 180