Experimental characterisation and modelling of breast Cooper's ligaments
The aim of this study was to characterise the mechanical behaviour of Cooper's ligaments. Such ligaments are collagenous breast tissue that create a three-dimensional structure over the entire breast volume. Ten ligaments were extracted from a human cadaver, from which 28 samples were cut and used to perform uniaxial tensile tests. Histological analysis showed that the main direction of the fibres visible to the naked eye corresponds to the orientation of the fibres on a microscopic scale. The specimens were cut according to this orientation, which allowed the sample to be stretched in the main fibre direction. From these experimental stretch/stress curves, an original anisotropic hyperelastic constitutive law is proposed to model the behaviour of Cooper's ligaments and the material parameter validity is discussed.
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