Narrowing of the spinal canal generates an amalgamation of stresses within the spinal cord parenchyma. The tissue's stress state cannot be quantified experimentally; it must be described using computational methods, such as finite element analysis. The objective of this research was to propose a compressible, transversely isotropic constitutive model, an augmentation of the isotropic Mooney-Rivlin hyperelastic strain energy function, to describe the guinea pig spinal cord white matter. Model parameters were derived from a combination of inverse finite element analysis on transverse compression experiments and least squared error analysis applied to quasi-static longitudinal tensile tests. A comparison of the residual errors between the predicted response and the experimental measurements indicated that the transversely isotropic constitutive law that incorporates an offset stretch reduced the error by a factor of four when compared to other commonly used models. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.
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