Nonlinear viscoelastic constitutive model for bovine liver tissue

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Soft tissue mechanical characterisation is important in many areas of medical research. Examples span from surgery training, device design and testing, sudden injury and disease diagnosis. The liver is of particular interest, as it is the most commonly injured organ in frontal and side motor vehicle crashes, and also assessed for inflammation and fibrosis in chronic liver diseases. Hence, an extensive rheological characterisation of liver tissue would contribute to advancements in these areas, which are dependent upon underlying biomechanical models. The aim of this paper is to define a liver constitutive equation that is able to characterise the nonlinear viscoelastic behaviour of liver tissue under a range of deformations and frequencies. The tissue response to large amplitude oscillatory shear (1–50%) under varying preloads (1–20%) and frequencies (0.5–2 Hz) is modelled using viscoelastic-adapted forms of the Mooney–Rivlin, Ogden and exponential models. These models are fit to the data using classical or modified objective norms. The results show that all three models are suitable for capturing the initial nonlinear regime, with the latter two being capable of capturing, simultaneously, the whole deformation range tested. The work presented here provides a comprehensive analysis across several material models and norms, leading to an identifiable constitutive equation that describes the nonlinear viscoelastic behaviour of the liver.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1641-1662
Number of pages22
JournalBiomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
Issue number5
Early online date10 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • Liver Rheology
  • Biomechanics
  • Nonlinear Mechanics
  • Viscoelasticity
  • Liver rheology
  • Nonlinear mechanics


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