A computational remodeling approach to predict the physiological architecture of the collagen fibril network in corneo-scleral shells
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- Grytz, R. & Meschke, G. Biomech Model Mechanobiol (2010) 9: 225. doi:10.1007/s10237-009-0173-2
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Organized collagen fibrils form complex networks that introduce strong anisotropic and highly nonlinear attributes into the constitutive response of human eye tissues. Physiological adaptation of the collagen network and the mechanical condition within biological tissues are complex and mutually dependent phenomena. In this contribution, a computational model is presented to investigate the interaction between the collagen fibril architecture and mechanical loading conditions in the corneo-scleral shell. The biomechanical properties of eye tissues are derived from the single crimped fibril at the micro-scale via the collagen network of distributed fibrils at the meso-scale to the incompressible and anisotropic soft tissue at the macro-scale. Biomechanically induced remodeling of the collagen network is captured on the meso-scale by allowing for a continuous re-orientation of preferred fibril orientations and a continuous adaptation of the fibril dispersion. The presented approach is applied to a numerical human eye model considering the cornea and sclera. The predicted fibril morphology correlates well with experimental observations from X-ray scattering data.