in: Wiley Encyclopedia of Biomedical Engineering, Metin Akay, Editor, John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex, UK , New-Jersey, pp.668-675, 2006
Understanding and characterizing the mechanical response of soft biological tissues is a fundamental problem in biomechanics. Adequate models are needed to allow the study of both normal tissue function and the effects of disease and injury on these tissues.
The mechanical behavior of biological materials is determined by their structure. The factors which control mechanical response include the gross (bulk) and microscopic tissue morphology, the chemical composition of the tissue, fluid flow in the tissue, directionality of tissue fibre structures, and the interfaces between various structures.