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Soft Tissue Fracture: Injury and Related Research

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Michelle L. Oyen, Lecturer in Mechanics of Biological Materials, Engineering Department, Cambridge University

Soft Tissue Fracture: Injury and Related Research

Traumatic injuries to structural soft tissues arise in many circumstances including automobile accidents and sporting events. While fracture of bone has been studied extensively, very little research has considered the biomechanics of fracture in soft tissues. To motivate detailed biomechanical investigation of crack propagation in soft tissues, impact studies on bovine patellar cartilage are considered. There is a direct correlation between cell death and cartilage cracking following direct impact loads. However, the mechanics of crack propagation in networks of fibrillar collageneous tissues presents many challenges. Methods are developed for quantifying crack propagation in soft tissue membrane samples. Fracture testing results are compared for two different soft tissues with different underlying microstructures. The role of water content in cartilage fracture is examined. The potential application of these new fracture mechanics techniques to the study of intervertebral disc herniation, cartilage injury and meniscal tears will be discussed.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminar Programme, Department of Veterinary Medicine series.

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