A constitutive model of soft tissue: From nanoscale collagen to tissue continuum

Huang Tang, Markus J. Buehler, Brian Moran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

Soft collagenous tissue features many hierarchies of structure, starting from tropocollagen molecules that form fibrils, and proceeding to a bundle of fibrils that form fibers. Here we report the development of an atomistically informed continuum model of collagenous tissue. Results from full atomistic and molecular modeling are linked with a continuum theory of a fiber-reinforced composite, handshaking the fibril scale to the fiber and continuum scale in a hierarchical multi-scale simulation approach. Our model enables us to study the continuum-level response of the tissue as a function of cross-link density, making a link between nanoscale collagen features and material properties at larger tissue scales. The results illustrate a strong dependence of the continuum response as a function of nanoscopic structural features, providing evidence for the notion that the molecular basis for protein materials is important in defining their larger-scale mechanical properties. © 2009 Biomedical Engineering Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1117-1130
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Biomedical Engineering
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 8 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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