The human supraspinatus tendon (SST) exhibits strong heterogeneity in fiber alignment and material properties [1,2]. The relationship between fiber angle distribution and material properties has been previously described by a structurally based continuum model [3], which provided new quantitative structure-function relationships to explain the observed SST heterogeneity; however, in some locations and testing directions, the model predictions were not consistent with a continuum assumption [3]. More recent analysis of the change in fiber angle during loading showed that samples with less aligned fibers have less affine kinematics in uniaxial tensile loading [4]. That is, in uniaxial tensile testing, where the transverse edges freely contract, the fiber strain did not match the tissue strain. Because the SST is somewhat transversely constrained by surrounding rotator cuff structures in vivo and has distributed fibers to support multidirectional loading, the freely contracting edges of uniaxial tension may not appropriately constrain the tendon. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate SST stress-strain behavior and affine deformation under biaxial tension. Specifically, if behaving as a continuum, we expected that applying a fixed boundary condition in the transverse direction would produce a higher apparent modulus, a smaller toe-region, and more affine fiber realignment than a free boundary condition.

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