5 years ago

A mechanistic damage model for ligaments

The accuracy of biomechanical models is predicated on the realism by which they represent their biomechanical tissues. Unfortunately, most models use phenomenological ligament models that neglect the behaviour in the failure region. Therefore, the purpose of this investigation was to test whether a mechanistic model of ligamentous tissue portrays behaviour representative of actual ligament failure tests. Model The model tracks the time-evolution of a population of collagen fibres in a theoretical ligament. Each collagen fibre is treated as an independent linear cables with constant stiffness. Model equations were derived by assuming these fibres act as a continuum and applying a conservation law akin to Huxley’s muscle model. A breaking function models the rate of collagen fibre breakage at a given displacement, and was chosen to be a linear function for this preliminary analysis. Methods The model was fitted to experimental average curves for the cervical anterior longitudinal ligament. In addition, the model was cyclically loaded to test whether the tissue model behaves similarly. Results The model agreed very well with experiment with an RMS error of 14.23 N and an R2 of 0.995. Cyclic loading exhibited a reduction in force similar to experimental data. Discussion and conclusion The proposed model showcases behaviour reminiscent of actual ligaments being strained to failure and undergoing cyclic load. Future work could incorporate viscous effects, or validate the model further by testing it in various loading conditions. Characterizing the breaking function more accurately would also lead to better results.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0021929017303494

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