Static versus dynamic gerbil tympanic membrane elasticity : derivation of the complex modulus
Faculty of Sciences. Physics
Biomechanics and modeling in mechanobiology. - Berlin
, p. 829-840
University of Antwerp
An accurate estimation of tympanic membrane stiffness is important for realistic modelling of middle ear mechanics. Tympanic membrane stiffness has been investigated extensively under either quasi-static or dynamic loading conditions. It is known that biological tissues are sensitive to strain rate. Therefore, in this work, the mechanical behaviour of the tympanic membrane was studied under both quasi-static and dynamic loading conditions. Experiments were performed on the pars tensa of four gerbil tympanic membranes. A custom-built indentation apparatus was used to perform in situ tissue indentations and testing was done applying both quasi-static and dynamic sinusoidal indentations up to 8.2 Hz. The unloaded shape of the tympanic membrane was measured and used to create specimen-specific finite element models to simulate the experiments. The frequency dependent Youngs modulus of each specimen was then estimated by an inverse analysis in which the error between experimental and simulated indentation data was optimised for each indentation frequency separately. Using an 8 μm central region thickness, we found Youngs moduli between 71 and 106 MPa (n = 4) at 0.2 Hz indentation frequency. A standard linear viscoelastic model and a viscoelastic model with a continuous relaxation spectrum were used to derive a complex modulus in the frequency domain. Due to experimental limitations, the indentation frequency upper limit was 8.2 Hz. The average relative modulus increase in this domain was 14% and the increase was the strongest below 6 Hz.