11,260 research outputs found

    Viscoelastic deformation of articular cartilage during impact loading

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    Confined compression of collagen hydrogels

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    Reconstituted collagen hydrogels are often used for in vitro studies of cell-matrix interaction and as scaffolds for tissue engineering. Understanding the mechanical and transport behaviours of collagen hydrogels is therefore extremely important, albeit difficult due to their very high water content (typically > 99.5%). In the present study the mechanical behaviour of collagen hydrogels in confined compression was investigated using biphasic theory (J. Biomech. Eng. 102 (1980) 73), to ascertain whether the technique is sufficiently sensitive to determine differences in the characteristics of hydrogels of between 0.2% and 0.4% collagen. Peak stress, equilibrium stress, aggregate modulus and hydraulic permeability of the hydrogels exhibited sensitivity to collagen content, demonstrating that the technique is clearly able to discriminate between hydrogels with small differences in collagen content and may also be sensitive to factors that affect matrix remodelling. The results also offer additional insight into the deformation-dependent permeability of collagen hydrogels. This study suggests that confined compression, together with biphasic theory, is a suitable technique for assessing the mechanical properties of collagen hydrogels

    Stability and energy budget of pressure-driven collapsible channel flows

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    Although self-excited oscillations in collapsible channel flows have been extensively studied, our understanding of their origins and mechanisms is still far from complete. In the present paper, we focus on the stability and energy budget of collapsible channel flows using a fluid–beam model with the pressure-driven (inlet pressure specified) condition, and highlight its differences to the flow-driven (i.e. inlet flow specified) system. The numerical finite element scheme used is a spine-based arbitrary Lagrangian–Eulerian method, which is shown to satisfy the geometric conservation law exactly. We find that the stability structure for the pressure-driven system is not a cascade as in the flow-driven case, and the mode-2 instability is no longer the primary onset of the self-excited oscillations. Instead, mode-1 instability becomes the dominating unstable mode. The mode-2 neutral curve is found to be completely enclosed by the mode-1 neutral curve in the pressure drop and wall stiffness space; hence no purely mode-2 unstable solutions exist in the parameter space investigated. By analysing the energy budgets at the neutrally stable points, we can confirm that in the high-wall-tension region (on the upper branch of the mode-1 neutral curve), the stability mechanism is the same as proposed by Jensen and Heil. Namely, self-excited oscillations can grow by extracting kinetic energy from the mean flow, with exactly two-thirds of the net kinetic energy flux dissipated by the oscillations and the remainder balanced by increased dissipation in the mean flow. However, this mechanism cannot explain the energy budget for solutions along the lower branch of the mode-1 neutral curve where greater wall deformation occurs. Nor can it explain the energy budget for the mode-2 neutral oscillations, where the unsteady pressure drop is strongly influenced by the severely collapsed wall, with stronger Bernoulli effects and flow separations. It is clear that more work is required to understand the physical mechanisms operating in different regions of the parameter space, and for different boundary conditions

    Intimal and medial contributions to the hydraulic resistance of the arterial wall at different pressures: a combined computational and experimental study

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    The hydraulic resistances of the intima and media determine water flux and the advection of macromolecules into and across the arterial wall. Despite several experimental and computational studies, these transport processes and their dependence on transmural pressure remain incompletely understood. Here, we use a combination of experimental and computational methods to ascertain how the hydraulic permeability of the rat abdominal aorta depends on these two layers and how it is affected by structural rearrangement of the media under pressure. Ex vivo experiments determined the conductance of the whole wall, the thickness of the media and the geometry of medial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and extracellular matrix (ECM). Numerical methods were used to compute water flux through the media. Intimal values were obtained by subtraction. A mechanism was identified that modulates pressure-induced changes in medial transport properties: compaction of the ECM leading to spatial reorganization of SMCs. This is summarized in an empirical constitutive law for permeability and volumetric strain. It led to the physiologically interesting observation that, as a consequence of the changes in medial microstructure, the relative contributions of the intima and media to the hydraulic resistance of the wall depend on the applied pressure; medial resistance dominated at pressures above approximately 93 mmHg in this vessel

    Structure-based finite strain modelling of the human left ventricle in diastole

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    Finite strain analyses of the left ventricle provide important information on heart function and have the potential to provide insights into the biomechanics of myocardial contractility in health and disease. Systolic dysfunction is the most common cause of heart failure; however, abnormalities of diastolic function also contribute to heart failure, and are associated with conditions including left ventricular hypertrophy and diabetes. The clinical significance of diastolic abnormalities is less well understood than systolic dysfunction, and specific treatments are presently lacking. To obtain qualitative and quantitative information on heart function in diastole, we develop a three-dimensional computational model of the human left ventricle that is derived from noninvasive imaging data. This anatomically realistic model has a rule-based fibre structure and a structure-based constitutive model. We investigate the sensitivity of this comprehensive model to small changes in the constitutive parameters and to changes in the fibre distribution. We make extensive comparisons between this model and similar models that employ different constitutive models, and we demonstrate qualitative and quantitative differences in stress and strain distributions for the different constitutive models. We also provide an initial validation of our model through comparisons to experimental data on stress and strain distributions in the left ventricle

    Structure-stiffness relation of live mouse brain tissue determined by depth-controlled indentation mapping

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    The mechanical properties of brain tissue play a pivotal role in neurodevelopment and neurological disorders. Yet, at present, there is no consensus on how the different structural parts of the tissue contribute to its stiffness variations. Here, we have gathered depth-controlled indentation viscoelasticity maps of the hippocampus of isolated horizontal live mouse brain sections. Our results confirm the highly viscoelestic nature of the material and clearly show that the mechanical properties correlate with the different morphological layers of the samples investigated. Interestingly, the relative cell nuclei area seems to negatively correlate with the stiffness observed