- Computational Modeling of Biomechanical Phenomena - Remodeling, Growth and Reorientation (2007)
- The main concern of this contribution is the computational modeling of biomechanically relevant phenomena. To minimize resource requirements, living biomaterials commonly adapt to changing demands. One way to do so is the optimization of mass. For the modeling of biomaterials with changing mass, we distinguish between two different approaches: the coupling of mass changes and deformations at the constitutive level and at the kinematic level. Mass change at the constitutive level is typically realized by weighting the free energy function with respect to the density field, as experimentally motivated by Carter and Hayes  and computationally realized by Harrigan and Hamilton . Such an ansatz enables the simulation of changes in density while the overall volume remains unaffected. In this contribution we call this effect remodeling. Although in principle applicable for small and large strains, this approach is typically adopted for hard tissues, e.g. bone, which usually undergo small strain deformations. Remodeling in anisotropic materials is realized by choosing an appropriate anisotropic free energy function. <br> Within the kinematic coupling, a changing mass is characterized through a multiplicative decomposition of the deformation gradient into a growth part and an elastic part, as first introduced in the context of plasticity by Lee . In this formulation, which we will refer to as growth in the following, mass changes are attributed to changes in volume while the material density remains constant. This approach has classically been applied to model soft tissues undergoing large strains, e.g. the arterial wall. The first contribution including this ansatz is the work by Rodriguez, Hoger and McCulloch . To model anisotropic growth, an appropriate anisotropic growth deformation tensor has to be formulated. In this contribution we restrict ourselves to transversely isotropic growth, i.e., growth characterized by one preferred direction. On that account, we define a transversely isotropic growth deformation tensor determined by two variables, namely the stretch ratios parallel and perpendicular to the characteristic direction. <br> Another method of material optimization is the adaption of the inner structure f a material to its loading conditions. In anisotropic materials this can be realized by a suitable orientation of the material directions. For example, the trabeculae in the human femur head are oriented such that they can carry the daily loads with an optimum mass. Such a behavior can also be observed in soft tissues. For instance, the fibers of muscles and the collagen fibers in the arterial wall are oriented along the loading directions to carry a maximum of mechanical load. If the overall loading conditions change, for instance during a balloon angioplasty or a stent implantation, the material orientation readapts, which we call reorientation. The anisotropy type in biomaterials is often characterized by fiber reinforcement. A particular subclass of tissues, which includes muscles, tendons and ligaments, is featured by one family of fibers. More complex microstructures, such as arterial walls, show two fiber families, which do not necessarily have to be perpendicular. Within this contribution we confine ourselves to the first case, i.e., transversely isotropic materials indicated by one characteristic direction. The reorientation of the fiber direction in biomaterials is commonly smooth and continuous. For transverse isotropy it can be described by a rotation of the characteristic direction. Analogous to the theory of shells, we additionally exclude drilling rotations, see also Menzel . However, the driving force for these reorientation processes is still under discussion. Mathematical considerations promote strain driven reorientations. As discussed, for instance, in Vianello , the free energy reaches a critical state for coaxial stresses and strains. For transverse isotropy, it can be shown that this can be achieved if the characteristic direction is aligned with a principal strain direction. From a biological point of view, depending on the kind of material (i.e. bone, muscle tissue, cartilage tissue, etc.), both strains and stresses can be suggested as stimuli for reorientation. Thus, whithin this contribution both approaches are investigated. <br> In contrast to previous works, in which remodeling, growth and reorientation are discussed separately, the present work provides a framework comprising all of the three mentioned effects at once. This admits a direct comparison how and on which level the individual phenomenon is introduced into the material model, and which influence it has on the material behavior. For a uniform description of the phenomenological quantities an internal variable approach is chosen. Moreover, we particularly focus on the algorithmic implementation of the three effects, each on its own, into a finite element framework. The nonlinear equations on the local and the global level are solved by means of the Newton-Raphson scheme. Accordingly, the local update of the internal variables and the global update of the deformation field are consistently linearized yielding the corresponding tangent moduli. For an efficient implementation into a finite element code, unitized update algorithms are given. The fundamental characteristics of the effects are illustrated by means of some representative numerical simulations. Due to the unified framework, combinations of the individual effects are straightforward.