Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2017

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



The general objective of this work was to develop experimental methods based on magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) to characterize fibrous soft materials. Mathematical models of tissue biomechanics capable of predicting injury, such as traumatic brain injury (TBI), are of great interest and potential. However, the accuracy of predictions from such models depends on accuracy of the underlying material parameters. This dissertation describes work toward three aims. First, experimental methods were designed to characterize fibrous materials based on a transversely isotropic material model. Second, these methods are applied to characterize the anisotropic properties of white matter brain tissue ex vivo. Third, a theoretical investigation of the potential application of MRE to probe nonlinear mechanical behavior of soft tissue was performed. These studies provide new methods to characterize anisotropic and nonlinear soft materials as well as contributing significantly to our understanding of the behavior of specific biological soft tissues.


English (en)


Philip V. Bayly

Committee Members

Philip V. Bayly, Joel R. Garbow, Guy M. Genin, Ruth J. Okamoto,


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