Fascia is a highly organized collagenous tissue that is ubiquitous in the body, but whose function is not well understood. Because fascia has a sheet-like structure attaching to muscles and bones at multiple sites, it is exposed to different states of multi- or biaxial strain. In order to measure how biaxial strain affects fascia material behavior, planar biaxial tests with strain control were performed on longitudinal and transversely oriented samples of goat fascia lata (FL). Cruciform samples were cycled to multiple strain levels while the perpendicular direction was held at a constant strain. Structural differences among FL layers were examined using histology and SEM. Results show that FL stiffness, hysteresis, and strain energy density are greater in the longitudinal vs. transverse direction. Increased stiffness in the longitudinal layer is likely due to its greater thickness and greater average fibril diameter compared to the transverse layer(s). Perpendicular strain did not affect FL material behavior. Differential loading in the longitudinal vs. transverse directions may lead to structural changes, enhancing the ability of the longitudinal FL to transmit force, store energy, or stabilize the limb during locomotion. The relative compliance of the transverse fibers may allow expansion of underlying muscles when they contract.
Eng, Carolyn MPancheri, Francesco QLieberman, Daniel EBiewener, Andrew ADorfmann, LuisengResearch Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.2014/03/22 06:00Ann Biomed Eng. 2014 Jun;42(6):1224-37. doi: 10.1007/s10439-014-0999-3. Epub 2014 Mar 20.