Assessment of the mechanical properties of soft tissues requires accurate measurement of the cross-sectional area. To date, techniques for determining cross-sectional areas of ligaments and tendons have been less than ideal due to the tissues’ complex geometries and the fact that they deform easily under an applied external load. A new procedure has been developed for determining the cross-sectional area by means of an image reconstruction technique based on measurements from collimated laser beams. Using this procedure, the actual shape of the specimen cross-section can also be determined. The results are demonstrated to be highly accurate, and this methodology does not require mechanical contact with the specimen.

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