Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 56–65 | Cite as

A rheological network model for the continuum anisotropic and viscoelastic behavior of soft tissue

  • Jeffrey E. BischoffEmail author
  • Ellen M. Arruda
  • Karl Grosh
Original Paper


The mechanical behavior of soft tissue demonstrates a number of complex features including nonlinearity, anisotropy, viscoelasticity, and growth. Characteristic features of the time-dependent and anisotropic behavior are related to the properties of various components of the tissue such as fibrous collagen and elastin networks, large proteins and sugars attached to these networks, and interstitial fluid. Attempts to model the elastic behavior of these tissues based on assumptions about the behavior of the underlying constituents have been reasonably successful, but the essential addition of viscoelasticity to these models has been met with varying success. Here, a new rheological network model is proposed using, as its basis, an orthotropic hyperelastic constitutive model for fibrous tissue and a viscoelastic reptation model for soft materials. The resulting model has been incorporated into numerical and computational models, and is shown to capture the mechanical behavior of soft tissue in various modes of deformation including uniaxial and biaxial tension and simple shear.


Deformation Gradient Elastic Element Strain Energy Function Biaxial Tension Rabbit Skin 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey E. Bischoff
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ellen M. Arruda
    • 2
  • Karl Grosh
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering University of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical Engineering University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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