Connective soft tissues exhibit time-dependent, or viscoelastic, behavior. In order to characterize this behavior, stress relaxation experiments can be performed to determine the tissue’s relaxation modulus. Theoretically, the relaxation modulus describes the stress relaxation behavior of the tissue in response to an instantaneous (step) application of strain. However, a step increase in strain is experimentally impossible and a pure ramp load is intractable due to the inertial limitations of the testing device. Even small deviations from an instantaneous strain application may cause significant errors in the determination of the tissue’s relaxation modulus.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.