The biomechanical properties of soft tissues play an important role in their normal physiological and physical function, and may possibly relate to certain diseases. The advent of nanomechanical testing techniques, such as atomic force microscopy (AFM), nano-indentation and optical tweezers, enables the nano/micro-mechanical properties of soft tissues to be investigated, but in spite of the fact that biological tissues are highly viscoelastic, traditional elastic contact theory has been routinely used to analyze experimental data. In this article, a novel rate-jump protocol for treating viscoelasticity in nanomechanical data analysis is described.
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