Abstract

The paper aims at evaluation of mechanical tests of soft tissues and creation of their representative stress-strain responses and respective constitutive models. Interpretation of sets of experimental results depends highly on the approach to the data analysis. Their common representation through mean and standard deviation may be misleading and give non-realistic results. In the paper, raw data of 7 studies consisting of 11 experimental data sets (concerning carotid wall and atheroma tissues) are re-analysed to show the importance of their rigorous analysis. The sets of individual uniaxial stress-strain curves are evaluated using three different protocols: stress-based, stretch-based and constant-based, and the population-representative response is created by their mean or median values. Except for nearly linear responses, there are substantial differences between the resulting curves, being mostly the highest for constant-based evaluation. But also the stretch-based evaluation may change the character of the response significantly. Finally, medians of the stress-based responses are recommended as the most rigorous approach for arterial and other soft tissues with significant strain stiffening.

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