Tendons are highly anisotropic and also viscoelastic. For understanding and modeling their 3D deformation, information is needed on their viscoelastic response under off-axis loading. A study was made, therefore, of creep and recovery of bovine digital extensor tendons when subjected to transverse compressive stress of up to ca. 100 kPa. Preconditioned tendons were compression tested between glass plates at increasing creep loads. The creep response was anomalous: the relative rate of creep reduced with the increasing stress. Over each ca. 100 s creep period, the transverse creep deformation of each tendon obeyed a power law dependence on time, with the power law exponent falling from ca. 0.18 to an asymptote of ca. 0.058 with the increasing stress. A possible explanation is stress-driven dehydration, as suggested previously for the similar anomalous behavior of ligaments. Recovery after removal of each creep load was also anomalous. Relative residual strain reduced with the increasing creep stress, but this is explicable in terms of the reducing relative rate of creep. When allowance was made for some adhesion occurring naturally between tendon and the glass plates, the results for a given load were consistent with creep and recovery being related through the Boltzmann superposition principle (BSP). The tendon tissue acted as a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) in contact with the glass plates: explicable in terms of the low transverse shear modulus of the tendons.
Viscoelasticity of Tendons Under Transverse Compression
Manuscript received March 3, 2016; final manuscript received July 26, 2016; published online August 18, 2016. Assoc. Editor: James C. Iatridis.
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Paul Buckley, C., Samuel Salisbury, S. T., and Zavatsky, A. B. (August 18, 2016). "Viscoelasticity of Tendons Under Transverse Compression." ASME. J Biomech Eng. October 2016; 138(10): 101004. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4034382
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