Experimental tests, such as the confined and unconfined compression and the indentation tests, are traditionally used to determine the poroelastic properties of hydrated soft tissues (HSTs). The purpose of this study was to quantitatively evaluate the reliability of HAand K values as identified from experimental confined test data, estimating the errors that could occur in several situations with more realistic sample geometry and boundary conditions. Finite element models of the step-wise stress-relaxation confined compression tests on HSTs were developed including geometrical imperfections of the sample and the presence of a gap between the piston and the confining chamber. The errors occurring when HAand K were estimated by means of the analytical solution of the 1-D confined compression problem were assessed. Results of the analysis indicate that errors in the parameter estimation due to geometrical inaccuracies of the sample can be eliminated by applying a 5% strain pre-compression to the sample. Gap errors are negligible for HA, can reach 20% for K, and cannot be eliminated by a pre-compression of the sample. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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