A physiologic constitutive expression is presented in algorithmic format for the nonlinear elastic response of wavy collagen fibrils found in soft connective tissues. The model is based on the observation that crimped fibrils in a fascicle have a three-dimensional structure at the micron scale that we approximate as a helical spring. The symmetry of this wave form allows the force/displacement relationship derived from Castigliano’s theorem to be solved in closed form: all integrals become analytic. Model predictions are in good agreement with experimental observations for mitral-valve chordæ tendineæ.

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