The purpose of this paper is to present a simple new method for calculating the opening angle produced by a given residual stress field in a soft biological tissue. The method uses minimization of potential energy, and is therefore named the MPE method. The accuracy of the MPE method is evaluated by comparing the opening angle it predicts to results from a finite element model of the opening angle experiment. We show that the MPE method provides good predictions of the opening angle, and that it is significantly more accurate than two other methods previously used in the literature.

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