Forces and deformations of the abdominal wall—A mechanical and geometrical approach to the linea alba
Force-elongation responses of the human abdominal wall in the linea alba region were determined by tensile tests in which the linea alba was seen to exhibit a nonlinear elastic, anisotropic behavior as is frequently observed in soft biological tissues. In addition, the geometry of the abdominal wall was determined, based on MRI data. The geometry can be specified by principal radii of curvature in longitudinal of approximately 470mm and in the transverse direction of about 200mm. The determined radii agree with values found in other studies. Mechanical stresses, deformations and abdominal pressures for load cases above 6% elongation can be related using Laplace's formula and our constitutive and geometrical findings. Results from uni- and biaxial tensile tests can thus be compared using this model. Calculations confirm that abdominal pressures of approximately 20kPa correspond to related biaxial forces of about 3.4N/mm in the transverse and 1.5N/mm in the longitudinal direction. Young's moduli can be calculated with respect to the uniaxial as well as the biaxial loading. At these physiological loadings, a compliance ratio of about 2:1 between the longitudinal and transversal directions is found. Young's moduli of about 50kPa occur in transversal direction and of about 20kPa in longitudinal direction at transverse and longitudinal strains both in the order of 6%. These findings coincide with results from other investigations in which the properties of the abdominal wall have been examined.