Comparison of structural anisotropic soft tissue models for simulating Achilles tendon tensile behaviour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The incidence of tendon injury (tendinopathy) has increased over the past decades due to greater participation in sports and recreational activities. But little is known about the aetiology of tendon injuries because of our limited knowledge in the complex structure-function relationship in tendons. Computer models can capture the biomechanical behaviour of tendons and its structural components, which is essential for understanding the underlying mechanisms of tendon injuries. This study compares three structural constitutive material models for the Achilles tendon and discusses their application on different biomechanical simulations. The models have been previously used to describe cardiovascular tissue and articular cartilage, and one model is novel to this study. All three constitutive models captured the tensile behaviour of rat Achilles tendon (root mean square errors between models and experimental data are 0.50-0.64). They further showed that collagen fibres are the main load-bearing component and that the non-collagenous matrix plays a minor role in tension. By introducing anisotropic behaviour also in the non-fibrillar matrix, the new biphasic structural model was also able to capture fluid exudation during tension and high values of Poisson's ratio that is reported in tendon experiments.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Orthopedics


  • Collagen fibre mechanics, Constitutive model, Fibre-reinforced, Poroelastic, Tendon
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-443
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Aug 1
Publication categoryResearch