Influence of experimental conditions on visco-hyperelastic properties of skeletal muscle tissue using a Box-Behnken design.


Bioengineering, Tissues and Neuroplasticity, EA 7377, Université Paris-Est Créteil, Faculté de Médecine, 8 rue du Général Sarrail, 94010 Créteil, France. Electronic address: [Email]


The Mechanical characterization of skeletal muscles is strongly dependent on numerous experimental design factors. Nevertheless, significant knowledge gaps remain on the characterization of muscle mechanics and a large number of experiments should be implemented to test the influence of a large number of factors. In this study, we propose a design of experiment method (DOE) to study the parameter sensitivity while minimizing the number of tests. A Box-Behnken design was then implemented to study the influence of strain rate, preconditioning and preloading conditions on visco-hyperelastic mechanical parameters of two rat forearm muscles. The results show that the strain rate affects the visco-hyperelastic parameters for both muscles. These results are consistent with previous work demonstrating that stiffness and viscoelastic contributions increase with strain rate. Thus, DOE has been shown to be a valid method to determine the effect of the experimental conditions on the mechanical behaviour of biological tissues such as skeletal muscle. This method considerably reduces the number of experiments. Indeed, the presented study using 3 parameters at 3 levels would have required at least 54 tests per muscle against 14 for the proposed DOE method.


Design of experiments,Relaxation tests,Skeletal muscle,Visco-hyperelasticity,