Viscoelastic response of the finger pad to incremental tangential displacements

Todd C. Pataky, Mark L. Latash, Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The finger pads of eight subjects were loaded by tangential displacement (x - perpendicular to the long axis of the finger) of a contacted surface when the distal and proximal interphalangeal joints (DIP and PIP, respectively) were alternately constrained. The finger pad responded in a linearly viscoelastic manner during loading, but exhibited highly nonlinear behavior upon unloading. The observed tangential force (FT) relaxations were nonlinear and could be modeled well by a logarithmic function. The average FT relaxation duration (τ) was 11.8 s. Apparent tangential stiffness (k T), determined by FT after relaxation, varied linearly with normal force. With the DIP joints constrained the fingers showed significantly larger stiffness than with the PIP joints constrained (p<0.001). Implications for finger force coordination studies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1441-1449
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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