The aim of this study was to characterise the bulk modulus properties of the upper arm under relaxed and controlled contraction which is defined as 25% of the maximum voluntary contraction. A new testing machine was designed to generate constant load on the upper arm and measure the deformation over time. The machine consists of a device which is effectively a cuff that applies controllable pressure on a 47 mm wide band of the upper arm. Six different loads (10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 kgf) were applied over a period of time of up to a maximum of 120 seconds. The deflection-time curves obtained show strongly non-linear response of the bulk tissue. The non-linearity manifested by these deflection-time curves is in terms of both time- and load-dependency. For each load, the creep behaviour follows an exponential law typical of viscoelastic materials. At low loads (below 30kgf), the creep response increases fairly linearly as the load is increased from 10 kgf to 30 kgf. But at high loads (above 30 kgf), the creep response increases only slightly as the load is increased from 30 kgf to 60 kgf. Beyond a load of 60 kgf, the deflection or creep becomes negligible. This implies that the upper arm has reached the state of incompressibility. The creep behaviour of the upper arm was simulated using four Voigt viscoelastic models in series. The three obvious soft tissues of the upper arm, namely skin, fat and muscle, were modelled in series. The effects of blood vessels and connective tissue were also modelled in series with the other tissues.

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