Characterizing the material symmetry of a biological soft tissue can aid in understanding and modeling its mechanics. Optical methods have been reported for identification of structural fiber orientations in thin tissues such as heart valve leaflets , but not in thick tissues such as arteries because optical methods are not as effective with thick tissues. Besides fiber architecture, effective transmural material symmetry of a planar tissue needs to be known a priori in order to perform and interpret common testing methods such as planar biaxial testing or inflation testing (for cylindrical specimens). Nielsen et al.  reported on planar radial testing to study inhomogeneous properties of elastic membranes. We submit that planar radial extension testing (PRET) of a thick circular soft tissue specimen will reveal the underlying material symmetry. We performed numerical simulations of planar radial extension testing and assessed its feasibility using a simple custom-fabricated device.
Phenomenological Test Method to Assess of Material Symmetry in Thick Soft Tissues
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Raghavan, ML, Kratzberg, JA, & Ben-Abraham, EI. "Phenomenological Test Method to Assess of Material Symmetry in Thick Soft Tissues." Proceedings of the ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference. ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference. Keystone, Colorado, USA. June 20–24, 2007. pp. 171-172. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/SBC2007-176254
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