Soft connective tissues sustain large strains of viscoelastic nature. The rate-independent component is frequently modeled by means of anisotropic hyperelastic models. The rate-dependent component is usually modeled through linear rheological models or quasi-linear viscoelastic (QLV) models. These viscoelastic models are unable, in general, to capture the strain-level dependency of the viscoelastic properties present in many viscoelastic tissues. In linear viscoelastic models, strain-level dependency is frequently accounted for by including the dependence of multipliers of Prony series on strains through additional evolution laws, but the determination of the material parameters is a difficult task and the obtained accuracy is usually not sufficient. In this work, we introduce a model for fully nonlinear viscoelasticity in which the instantaneous and quasi-static behaviors are exactly captured and the relaxation curves are predicted to a high accuracy. The model is based on a fully nonlinear standard rheological model and does not necessitate optimization algorithms to obtain material parameters. Furthermore, in contrast to most models used in modeling the viscoelastic behavior of soft tissues, it is valid for the large deviations from thermodynamic equilibrium typically observed in soft tissues.
Strain-Level Dependent Nonequilibrium Anisotropic Viscoelasticity: Application to the Abdominal Muscle
Manuscript received April 4, 2017; final manuscript received July 3, 2017; published online August 16, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Jonathan Vande Geest.
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Latorre, M., and Montáns, F. J. (August 16, 2017). "Strain-Level Dependent Nonequilibrium Anisotropic Viscoelasticity: Application to the Abdominal Muscle." ASME. J Biomech Eng. October 2017; 139(10): 101007. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4037405
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