Wednesday, 13 October 2004 - 10:05 AM

This presentation is part of : Wineman Symposium

Constitutive Modeling of the Non-Linear Mechanics of Soft Tissue

Sarah Calve and Ellen M. Arruda, PhD. University of Michigan, Macromolecular Science and Engineering, 2250 GG Brown, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Soft tissues such as ligament and tendon exhibit a non-linear viscoelastic response governed by the amounts and organization of the various polymers comprising the tissues. We are investigating the morphological changes of collagen fibrils that occur during maturation and aging and the subsequent effects on the mechanical response. The quantification of changes in variables such as collagen content, orientation and fibril diameter is difficult to measure in vivo thus we have developed an in vitro model of soft tissue and functional bioreactors for the application of cyclic loads and other interventions. These in vitro experiments provide the evolution equations for modeling growth and remodeling in tissue. The constitutive model of the tissue uses an anisotropic network of chains to represent the collagen content and orientation. Each chain is given a non-linear elastic strain energy function known as the worm-like chain. The ability of the network model to capture growth and remodeling in soft tissue will be discussed.

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