A Brief Review on Computational Modeling of Rupture in Soft Biological Tissues

Osman Gültekin, Gerhard Holzapfel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Physiological and pathological aspects of soft biological tissues in terms
of, e.g., aortic dissection, aneurysmatic and atherosclerotic rupture, tears in tendons
and ligaments are of significant concern in medical science. The past few decades
have witnessed noticeable advances in the fundamental understanding of the mechan-
ics of soft biological tissues. Furthermore, computational biomechanics, with an
ever-increasing number of publications, has now become a third pillar of investiga-
tion, next to theory and experiment. In the present chapter we provide a brief review
of some constitutive frameworks and related computational models with the poten-
tial to predict the clinically relevant phenomena of rupture of soft biological tissues.
Accordingly, Euler-Lagrange equations are presented in regard to a recently devel-
oped crack phase-field method (CPFM) for soft tissues. The theoretical framework is
supplemented by some recently documented numerical results, with a focus on evolv-
ing failure surfaces that are predicted by a range of different failure criteria. A peel test
of arterial tissue is analyzed using the crack phase-field approach. Subsequently, dis-
continuous models of tissue rupture are described, namely the cohesive zone model
(CZM) and the extended finite element method (XFEM). Traction-separation laws
used to determine the crack growth are described, together with the kinematic and
numerical foundations. Simulation of a peel test of arterial tissue is then presented for
both the CZM and the XFEM. Finally we provide a critical discussion and overview
of some open problems and possible improvements of the computational modeling
concepts for soft tissue rupture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Computational Plasticity
Subtitle of host publicationA Book in Honour of D. Roger J. Owen
EditorsEugenio Oñate, Djordje Peric, Eduardo de Souza Neto, Michele Chiumenti
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-60885-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-60884-6
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameComputational Methods in Applied Sciences

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