Discrete quasi-linear viscoelastic damping analysis of connective tissues, and the biomechanics of stretching

Behzad Babaei, Aaron J. Velasquez-Mao, Stavros Thomopoulos, Elliot L. Elson, Steven D. Abramowitch, Guy M. Genin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The time- and frequency-dependent properties of connective tissue define their physiological function, but are notoriously difficult to characterize. Well-established tools such as linear viscoelasticity and the Fung quasi-linear viscoelastic (QLV) model impose forms on responses that can mask true tissue behavior. Here, we applied a more general discrete quasi-linear viscoelastic (DQLV) model to identify the static and dynamic time- and frequency-dependent behavior of rabbit medial collateral ligaments. Unlike the Fung QLV approach, the DQLV approach revealed that energy dissipation is elevated at a loading period of ∼10 s. The fitting algorithm was applied to the entire loading history on each specimen, enabling accurate estimation of the material's viscoelastic relaxation spectrum from data gathered from transient rather than only steady states. The application of the DQLV method to cyclically loading regimens has broad applicability for the characterization of biological tissues, and the results suggest a mechanistic basis for the stretching regimens most favored by athletic trainers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-202
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Discrete quasi-linear viscoelastic model
  • Ligament
  • Quasi-linear viscoelasticity
  • Relaxation spectrum
  • Storage and loss modulus
  • Stress relaxation


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