Anisotropic micro-sphere-based finite elasticity applied to blood vessel modelling

V Alastrue, M A Martinez, M Doblare, Andreas Menzel

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A fully three-dimensional anisotropic elastic model for vascular tissue modelling is here presented. The underlying strain energy density function is assumed to additively decouple into volumetric and deviatoric contributions. A straightforward isotropic neo-Hooke-type law is used to model the deviatoric response of the ground substance, whereas a micro-structurally or rather micro-sphere-based approach will be employed to model the contribution and distribution of fibres within the biological tissue of interest. Anisotropy was introduced by means of the use of von Mises orientation distribution functions. Two different micro-mechanical approaches -- a, say phenomenological, exponential ansatz and a worm-like-chain-based formulation -- are applied to the micro-fibres and illustratively compared. The passage from micro-structural contributions to the macroscopic response is obtained by a computational homogenisation scheme, namely numerical integration over the surface of the individual micro-spheres. The algorithmic treatment of this integration is discussed in detail for the anisotropic problem at hand, so that several cubatures of the micro-sphere are tested in order to optimise the accuracy at reasonable computational cost. Moreover, the introduced material parameters are identified from simple tension tests on human coronary arterial tissue for the two micro-mechanical models investigated. Both approaches are able to recapture the experimental data. Based on the identified sets of parameters, we first discuss a homogeneous deformation in simple shear to evaluate the models' response at the micro-structural level. Later on, an artery-like two-layered tube subjected to internal pressure is simulated by making use of a non-linear finite element setting. This enables to obtain the micro- and macroscopic responses in an inhomogeneous deformation problem, namely a blood-vessel-representative boundary value problem. The effect of residual stresses is additionally included in the model by means of a multiplicative decomposition of the deformation gradient tensor which turns out to crucially affect the simulation results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-203
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Mechanical Engineering


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