A damage model for collagen fibres with an application to collagenous soft tissues

Gerhard A Holzapfel*, Ray W Ogden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We propose a mechanical model to account for progressive damage in collagen fibres within fibrous soft tissues. The model has a similar basis to the pseudoelastic model that describes the Mullins effect in rubber but it also accounts for the effect of cross-links between collagen fibres. We show that the model is able to capture experimental data obtained from rat tail tendon fibres, and the combined effect of damage and collagen cross-links is illustrated for a simple shear test. The proposed three-dimensional framework allows a straightforward implementation in finite-element codes, which are needed to analyse more complex boundary-value problems for soft tissues under supra-physiological loading or tissues weakened by disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20190821
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A
Issue number2236
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Artery elasticity
  • Collagen cross-links
  • Collagen fibres
  • Fibre damage
  • Fibrous tissue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Mathematics(all)

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