Approximately 12,400 new cases of spinal cord injuries (SCI) are reported in the United States every year. It has been estimated that the annual financial burden of SCI in the United States is approximately $7.736 billion. The mechanisms of mechanical damage to the spinal cord can be broadly classified into distraction, dislocation or contusion. Distraction injuries are predominantly caused by rapid acceleration-deceleration of the cervical spine. Vertebral burst fractures commonly result in contusion of the spinal cord and relative dislocation of adjacent vertebrae can inter-segmentally shear the spinal cord resulting in injury. Multiple studies have examined the quasi-static mechanical properties of the spinal cord [1–3]. However, considering that most spinal cord injuries occur during dynamic events with relatively high strain rates (ex: 10/s), alarmingly few studies have investigated the time-dependent mechanical characteristics of the spinal cord.

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