Dynamic mechanical characterization and viscoelastic modeling of bovine brain tissue

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Brain tissue is vulnerable and sensitive, predisposed to potential damage under various conditions of mechanical loading. Although its material properties have been investigated extensively, the frequency-dependent viscoelastic characterization is currently limited. Computational models can provide a non-invasive method by which to analyze brain injuries and predict the mechanical response of the tissue. The brain injuries are expected to be induced by dynamic loading, mostly in compression and measurement of dynamic viscoelastic properties are essential to improve the accuracy and variety of finite element simulations on brain tissue. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the compressive frequency-dependent properties of brain tissue and present a mathematical model in the frequency domain to capture the tissue behavior based on experimental results. Bovine brain specimens, obtained from four locations of corona radiata, corpus callosum, basal ganglia and cortex, were tested under compression using dynamic mechanical analysis over a range of frequencies between 0.5 and 35 Hz to characterize the regional and directional response of the tissue. The compressive dynamic properties of bovine brain tissue were heterogenous for regions but not sensitive to orientation showing frequency dependent statistical results, with viscoelastic properties increasing with frequency. The mean storage and loss modulus were found to be 12.41 kPa and 5.54 kPa, respectively. The material parameters were obtained using the linear viscoelastic model in the frequency domain and the numeric simulation can capture the compressive mechanical behavior of bovine brain tissue across a range of frequencies. The frequency-dependent viscoelastic characterization of brain tissue will improve the fidelity of the computational models of the head and provide essential information to the prediction and analysis of brain injuries in clinical treatments.


Original languageEnglish
Article number104204
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Early online date16 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Nov 2020


  • Bovine brain, Dynamic mechanical analysis, Modulus, Viscoelastic modeling