Physiological levels of bending and flexion of the intervertebral disc are known to result in large shear strains of the anulus fibrosus (AF) tissue [1]. While microstructural shear is often implicated as a likely failure initiator [2], it is unclear what series of cascading mechanisms act to transfer shear from the tissue scale down to the micron scale. In particular, a consensus has yet to be reached on the degree to which interlamellar sliding contributes to transverse shear deformation. Elastin plays an important role in radial tensile behavior of the AF [3], however its function in shear has not been investigated.

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