Constitutive modeling of time-dependent response of human plantar aponeurosis

The attention is focused on the viscoelastic behavior of human plantar aponeurosis tissue. At this purpose, stress relaxation tests were developed on samples taken from the plantar aponeurosis of frozen adult donors with age ranging from 67 to 78 years, imposing three levels of strain in the physiological range (4%, 6%, and 8%) and observing stress decay for 240 s. A viscohyperelastic fiber-reinforced constitutive model with transverse isotropy was assumed to describe the time-dependent behavior of the aponeurotic tissue. This model is consistent with the structural conformation of the tissue where collagen fibers are mainly aligned with the proximal-distal direction. Constitutive model fitting to experimental data was made by implementing a stochastic-deterministic procedure. The stress relaxation was found close to 40%, independently of the level of strain applied. The agreement between experimental data and numerical results confirms the suitability of the constitutive model to describe the viscoelastic behaviour of the plantar aponeurosis.

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