Silberschmidt_Marinopoulos2020_Article_ModellingIndentationOfHumanLow.pdf (4.05 MB)
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Modelling indentation of human lower-limb soft tissue: simulation parameters and their effects

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Abstract Modern developments of biomedical applications demand a better understanding of mechanical behaviour of soft biological tissues. As human soft tissues demonstrate a significant structural and functional diversity, characterisation of their mechanical behaviour still remains a challenge. Limitations related with implementation of mechanical experiments on human participants lead to a use of finite-element models for analysis of mechanical responses of soft tissues to different loads. This study focuses on parameters of numerical simulation considered for modelling of indentation of a human lower limb. Assessment of the effect of boundary conditions on the model size shows that at a ratio of its length to the tissue’s thickness of 1.7 for the 3D model this effect vanishes. The numerical results obtained with models employing various sets of mechanical parameters of the first-order Ogden scheme were compared with original experimental data. Furthermore, high sensitivity of the resulting reaction forces to the indenting direction is demonstrated for cases of both linear and angular misalignments of the indenter. Finally, the effect of changes in material parameters and their domain on their contribution to the reaction forces is discussed with the aim to improve our understanding of mechanical behaviour of soft tissues based on numerical methods. The undertaken research with its results on minimal requirements for finite-element models of indentation of soft tissues can support inverse analysis of their mechanical properties and underpin orthopaedic and medical procedures.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

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Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics


Springer Science and Business Media LLC


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© The authors

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This is an Open Access Article. It is published by Springer under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported Licence (CC BY). Full details of this licence are available at:

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Prof Vadim Silberschmidt. Deposit date: 9 November 2020