Nonlinear viscoelasticity in rabbit medial collateral ligament

Rittu V. Hingorani, Paolo P. Provenzano, Roderic S. Lakes, Anthony Escarcega, Ray Vanderby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


The goal of this study was to characterize the viscoelastic behavior of the rabbit medial collateral ligament (MCL) at multiple levels of strain (between 0% and ∼5%) and their corresponding stresses (between 0 and ∼55 MPa) for stress relaxation and creep, respectively. We hypothesized that in the rabbit MCL the rate of stress relaxation would be strain dependent and the rate of creep would be stress dependent. Thirty MCLs from 15 rabbits were tested ex vivo for this study. Results show that within the physiologically relevant region of ligament behavior, the rate of stress relaxation is strain dependent in the rabbit MCL, with the rate of relaxation decreasing with increasing tissue strain. The rate of creep is stress dependent in the rabbit MCL, with the rate of creep decreasing with increasing stress. These results support our hypothesis, with the greatest nonlinearities in a physiologically relevant region of loading. As such, these nonlinearities should be considered when quantifying ligament viscoelastic behavior with a rabbit model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-312
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded in by NSF grant # CMS-9907977. The authors thank Dennis Heisey for assistance with statistical analysis.


  • Creep
  • Nonlinear superposition
  • Quasilinear viscoelasticity (QLV)
  • Stress relaxation


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