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Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. John E. Speich


Passive detrusor smooth muscle exhibits both viscoelastic softening and strain softening. Strain softening is a loss of stiffness following a stretch to a longer length and is reversible upon muscle activation. Because of this behavior, steady state passive force in detrusor is not constant for a given muscle length and can be adjusted by an intracellular mechanism. Thus, passive detrusor exhibits adjustable passive stiffness. Existing three-component mechanical models for muscle, the Kelvin and Voigt, are insufficient to display this characteristic. The goal of this thesis is to develop a new biomechanical model for passive force in detrusor by adding additional elements to the Kelvin or Voigt models. Eight mechanical characteristics of detrusor are identified from the literature and with three new experiments, and a novel adjustable passive stiffness model for smooth muscle is proposed. Simulations are performed to demonstrate that the model qualitatively exhibits each of the eight tissue characteristics.


Part of Retrospective ETD Collection, restricted to VCU only.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008