An analysis is presented of the deformation of a homogeneous, isotropic, elastic half space subjected to a constant radial strain in a circular area on the boundary. Explicit analytic expressions for the normal and radial displacements and the shear stress on the boundary are used to interpret experiments performed on inflated pig lungs. The boundary strain was induced by inflating or deflating the lung after bonding a flexible disk to the lung surface. The prediction that the surface bulges outward for positive boundary strain and inward for negative strain was observed in the experiments. Poisson’s ratio at two transpulmonary pressures was measured, by use of the normal displacement equation evaluated at the surface. A direct estimate of Poisson’s ratio was possible because the normal displacement of the surface depended uniquely on the compressibility of the material. Qualitative comparisons between theory and experiment support the use of continuum analyses in evaluating the behavior of the lung parenchyma when subjected to small local distortions.

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