Characterising soft tissues under large amplitude oscillatory shear and combined loading

Kristy Tan, Shaokoon Cheng*, Lauriane Jugé, Lynne E. Bilston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Characterising soft biological tissues outside the linear viscoelastic regime is challenging due to their complex behaviour. In addition, the viscoelastic properties of tissues have been shown to be sensitive to sample preparation and loading regime resulting in inconsistent data varying by orders magnitude in the literature. This paper presents a novel technique to characterise the non-linear behaviour of tissues which uses Fourier Transformation to decompose the stress output waveform under large amplitude oscillatory shear (LAOS) into harmonic contributions. The effect of varying preload, the compressive strain exerted on a liver tissue specimen prior to shear testing to minimise slip, was also investigated. Results showed that in the linear regime, preload affects the viscoelastic response of liver. Histological analysis indicated that there were structural changes as a result of the preload that may be linked to the differences in observed behaviour. Fourier analysis was used to extract the first and third harmonic components of the shear moduli at large strain. At 50% shear strain, a change in the third harmonic component of the shear moduli was accompanied by a marked change in the micro-structural arrangement of the sinusoids. This paper demonstrates a method of efficiently characterising soft biological tissues under large amplitude oscillatory shear under combined loading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1060-1066
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 5 Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


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