Original Paper

Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 187-203

First online:

Computational modeling of healing: an application of the material force method

  • E. KuhlAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Mechanics, University of Kaiserslautern Email author 
  • , P. SteinmannAffiliated withDepartment of Applied Mechanics, University of Kaiserslautern

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The basic aim of the present contribution is the qualitative simulation of healing phenomena typically encountered in hard and soft tissue mechanics. The mechanical framework is provided by the theory of open system thermodynamics, which will be formulated in the spatial as well as in the material motion context. While the former typically aims at deriving the density and the spatial motion deformation field in response to given spatial forces, the latter will be applied to determine the material forces in response to a given density and material deformation field. We derive a general computational framework within the finite element context that will serve to evaluate both the spatial and the material motion problem. However, once the spatial motion problem has been solved, the solution of the material motion problem represents a mere post-processing step and is thus extremely cheap from a computational point of view. The underlying algorithm will be elaborated systematically by means of two prototype geometries subjected to three different representative loading scenarios, tension, torsion, and bending. Particular focus will be dedicated to the discussion of the additional information provided by the material force method. Since the discrete material node point forces typically point in the direction of potential material deposition, they can be interpreted as a driving force for the healing mechanism.