Stress relaxation of porcine gluteus muscle subjected to sudden transverse deformation as related to pressure sore modeling

Avital Palevski*, Ittai Glaich, Sigal Portnoy, Eran Linder-Ganz, Amit Gefen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Computational studies of deep pressure sores (DPS) in skeletal muscles require information on viscoelastic constitutive behavior of muscles, particularly when muscles are loaded transversally as during bone-muscle interaction in sitting and lying immobilized patients. In this study, we measured transient shear moduli G(t) of fresh porcine muscles in vitro using the indentation method. We employed a custom-made pneumatic device that allowed rapid (2000 mm/s) 4 mm indentations. We tested 8 gluteus muscles, harvested from 5 adult pigs. Each muscle was indented transversally (perpendicularly to the direction of fibers) at 3 different sites, 7 times per site, to obtain nonpreconditioned (NPC) and preconditioned (PC) G(t) data. Short-term (G S) and long-term (GL) shear moduli were obtained directly from experiments. We further fitted measured G(t) data to a biexponential equation G(t) =G1·exp(-t/τ1)+G 2·exp(-t/τ2)+G, which provided good fit, visually and in terms of the correlation coefficients. Typically, plateau of the stress relaxation curves (defined as 10% difference from final GL) was evident ∼20 s after indentation. Short-term shear moduli GS (mean NPC: 8509 Pa, PC: 5711 Pa) were greater than long-term moduli GL (NPC: 609 Pa, PC: 807 Pa) by about an order of magnitude. Statistical analysis of parameters showed that only G2 was affected by preconditioning, while GL, GS, G , τ1, τ2, and G1 properties were unaffected. Since DPS develop over time scales of minutes to hours, but most stress relaxation occurs within ∼20 s, the most relevant property for computational modeling is GL (mean ∼700 Pa), which is, conveniently, unaffected by preconditioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-787
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Decubitus
  • Indentation
  • Pressure ulcer
  • Striated muscle
  • Viscoelastic mechanical properties


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