Experimental in vitro mechanical characterization of porcine Glisson's capsule and hepatic veins

J Biomech. 2011 Jun 3;44(9):1678-83. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2011.03.029. Epub 2011 Apr 9.


Understanding the mechanical properties of human liver is the most critical aspect of numerical modeling for medical applications and impact biomechanics. Many researchers work on identifying mechanical properties of the liver both in vivo and in vitro considering the high liver injury percentage in abdominal trauma and for easy detection of fatal liver diseases such as viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, etc. This study is performed to characterize mechanical properties of individual parts of the liver, namely Glisson's capsule and hepatic veins, as these parts are rarely characterized separately. The long term objective of this study is to develop a realistic liver model by characterizing individual parts and later integrating them. In vitro uniaxial quasi-static tensile tests are done on fresh unfrozen porcine hepatic parts for large deformations at the rate of 0.1mm/s with a Bose Electroforce 3200 biomaterials test instrument. Results show that mean values of small strain and large strain elastic moduli are 8.22 ± 3.42 and 48.15 ± 4.5 MPa for Glisson's capsule (30 samples) and 0.62 ± 0.41 and 2.81 ± 2.23 MPa for veins (20 samples), respectively, and are found to be in good agreement with data in the literature. Finally, a non-linear hyper-elastic constitutive law is proposed for the two separate liver constituents under study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Connective Tissue / physiology*
  • Elasticity
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Hepatic Veins / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Liver / blood supply
  • Liver / pathology
  • Materials Testing
  • Models, Biological
  • Models, Statistical
  • Pressure
  • Swine
  • Tensile Strength