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J Biomech Eng. 1993 Nov;115(4B):468-73.

Mathematical modeling of ligaments and tendons.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15213.


Ligaments and tendons serve a variety of important functions in maintaining the structure of the human body. Although abundant literature exists describing experimental investigations of these tissues, mathematical modeling of ligaments and tendons also contributes significantly to understanding their behavior. This paper presents a survey of developments in mathematical modeling of ligaments and tendons over the past 20 years. Mathematical descriptions of ligaments and tendons are identified as either elastic or viscoelastic, and are discussed in chronological order. Elastic models assume that ligaments and tendons do not display time dependent behavior and thus, they focus on describing the nonlinear aspects of their mechanical response. On the other hand, viscoelastic models incorporate time dependent effects into their mathematical description. In particular, two viscoelastic models are discussed in detail; quasi-linear viscoelasticity (QLV), which has been widely used in the past 20 years, and the recently proposed single integral finite strain (SIFS) model.

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