The authors present a new non-intrusive experimental procedure based on laser techniques for the measurement of mechanical properties of tendons. The procedure is based on the measurement of the first resonance frequency of the tendon by laser Doppler vibrometry during in vitro tensile experiments, with the final aim of establishing a measurement procedure to perform the mechanical characterization of tendons by extracting parameters such as the resonance frequency, also achievable during in vivo investigation. The experimental procedure is reported, taking into account the need to simulate the physiological conditions of the Achilles tendon, and the measurement technique used for the non-invasive determination of tendon cross-sectional area during tensile vibration tests at different load levels is described. The test procedure is based on a tensile machine, which measures longitudinal tendons undergoing controlled load conditions. Cross-sectional area is measured using a new non-contact procedure for the measurement of tendon perimeter (repeatability of 99% and accuracy of 2%). For each loading condition, vibration resonance frequency and damping, cross-sectional area and tensile force are measured, allowing thus a mechanical characterization of the tendon. Tendon stress–strain curves are reported. Stress–strain curves have been correlated to the first vibration resonance frequency and damping of the tendon measured using a single-point laser Doppler vibrometer. Moreover, experimental results have been compared with a theoretical model of a vibrating cord showing discrepancies. In vitro tests are reported, demonstrating the validity of the method for the comparison of different aged rabbit tendons.
Measurement of stress-strain and vibrational proprieties of tendons / Revel, Gian Marco; Scalise, Alessandro; Scalise, Lorenzo. - In: MEASUREMENT SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY. - ISSN 0957-0233. - STAMPA. - 14:(2003), pp. 1427-1436. [10.1088/0957-0233/14/8/332]