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Fractional calculus in viscoelasticity: an experimental study. (English) Zbl 1221.74012
Summary: Viscoelastic properties of soft biological tissues provide information that may be useful in medical diagnosis. Noninvasive elasticity imaging techniques, such as Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE), reconstruct viscoelastic material properties from dynamic displacement images. The reconstruction algorithms employed in these techniques assume a certain viscoelastic material model and the results are sensitive to the model chosen. Developing a better model for the viscoelasticity of soft tissue-like materials could improve the diagnostic capability of MRE. The well known “integer derivative” viscoelastic models of Voigt and Kelvin, and variations of them, cannot represent the more complicated rate dependency of material behavior of biological tissues over a broad spectral range. Recently the “fractional derivative” models have been investigated by a number of researchers. Fractional order models approximate the viscoelastic material behavior of materials through the corresponding fractional differential equations. This paper focuses on the tissue mimicking materials CF-11 and gelatin, and compares fractional and integer order models to describe their behavior under harmonic mechanical loading. Specifically, Rayleigh (surface) waves on CF-11 and gelatin phantoms are studied, experimentally and theoretically, in order to develop an independent test bed for assessing viscoelastic material models that will ultimately be used in MRE reconstruction algorithms.

MSC:
74D05 Linear constitutive equations for materials with memory
74-05 Experimental work for problems pertaining to mechanics of deformable solids
34A08 Fractional ordinary differential equations and fractional differential inclusions
26A33 Fractional derivatives and integrals
74L15 Biomechanical solid mechanics
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