Tensile properties of the human iliotibial tract depend on height and weight
Background and aims: The human iliotibial tract (IT) is increasingly used in different types of musculoskeletal models. Previous findings indicate age-dependent changes of the human IT tensile properties, these lack confirmation to date. The relationship of the human IT and anthropometrical parameters, such as body height and weight has not been investigated before. Materials and methods: 33 fresh human IT samples (age range 4 months to 93 years) were uniaxially tested using digital imaging correlation and the latest advances in 3D-printing to standardize biomechanical soft tissues testing. Results: The tensile parameters of the human IT are not age-dependent, except for the maximum strain in males. Height significantly correlated to elastic modulus, tensile strength and maximum strain of the human IT in males. Females just showed a significant correlation between maximum strain and weight, which was contrary to the findings in males. Discussion and conclusion: Age-dependency of human IT tensile parameters could not be confirmed in the larger sample size investigated in this study. Due to the strong correlation with the tensile IT parameters in males, we suggest that height should be integrated when the IT is used in simulations, such as finite element analyses of the hip and knee.