The objectives of this study were to determine the longitudinal and transverse material properties of the human medial collateral ligament (MCL) and to evaluate the ability of three existing constitutive models to describe the material behavior of MCL. Uniaxial test specimens were punched from ten human cadaveric MCLs and tensile tested along and transverse to the collagen fiber direction. Using load and optical strain analysis information, the tangent modulus, tensile strength and ultimate strain were determined. The material coefficients for each constitutive model were determined using nonlinear regression. All specimens failed within the substance of the tissue. Specimens tested along the collagen fiber direction exhibited the typical nonlinear behavior reported for ligaments. This behavior was absent from the stress–strain curves of the transverse specimens. The average tensile strength, ultimate strain, and tangent modulus for the longitudinal specimens was 38.6 ± 4.8 MPa, 17.1 ± 1.5 percent, and 332.2 ± 58.3 MPa, respectively. The average tensile strength, ultimate strain, and tangent modulus for the transverse specimens was 1.7 ± 0.5 MPa, 11.7 ± 0.9 percent, and 11.0 ± 3.6 MPa, respectively. All three constitutive models described the longitudinal behavior of the ligament equally well. However, the ability of the models to describe the transverse behavior of the ligament varied.

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