Med Biol Eng Comput 2018 Nov 19;56(11):2083-2093. Epub 2018 May 19.
PolitoBIOMed Lab, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, 24, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 10129, Turin, Italy.
Finite element models in conjunction with adequate constitutive relations are pivotal in several physiological and medical applications related to both native and engineered tissues, allowing to predict the tissue response under various loading states. In order to get reliable results, however, the validation of the constitutive models is crucial. Therefore, the main purpose of this work is to provide an experimental-computational approach to the biomechanical investigation of soft tissues such as the dermis. This is accomplished by implementing and validating three widely adopted hyperelastic constitutive models (the Ogden, the Holzapfel, and the Gasser-Ogden-Holzapfel laws) supposed to be adequate to reproduce human reticular dermis mechanical behavior. Biaxial experimental data have represented the basis for the determination of the respective material parameters identified thanks to the definition of a cost function accounting for the discrepancy between experimental and predicted data. Afterwards, the experimental tests have been reproduced through finite element simulations. Hence, the constitutive laws have been validated comparing experimental and numerical outcomes in terms of displacements of four reference points and stress-strain relations. Hence, an experimental-numerical framework is proposed for the investigation of collagenous tissues, which could become more accurate with larger and independent experimental datasets. Graphical abstract ᅟ.