Three-dimensional numerical simulation of soft-tissue wound healing using constrained-mixture anisotropic hyperelasticity and gradient-enhanced damage mechanics

Zuo, D. and Avril, S. and Yang, H. and Jamaleddin Mousavi, S. and Hackl, K. and He, Y.

Volume: 17 Pages:
DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2019.0708
Published: 2020

Healing of soft biological tissues is the process of self-recovery or self-repair after injury or damage to the extracellular matrix (ECM). In this work, we assume that healing is a stress-driven process, which works at recovering a homeostatic stress metric in the tissue by replacing the damaged ECM with a new undamaged one. For that, a gradient-enhanced continuum healing model is developed for three-dimensional anisotropic tissues using the modified anisotropic Holzapfel-Gasser-Ogden constitutive model. An adaptive stress-driven approach is proposed for the deposition of new collagen fibres during healing with orientations assigned depending on the principal stress direction. The intrinsic length scales of soft tissues are considered through the gradient-enhanced term, and growth and remodelling are simulated by a constrained-mixture model with temporal homogenization. The proposed model is implemented in the finite-element package Abaqus by means of a user subroutine UEL. Three numerical examples have been achieved to illustrate the performance of the proposed model in simulating the healing process with various damage situations, converging towards stress homeostasis. The orientations of newly deposited collagen fibres and the sensitivity to intrinsic length scales are studied through these examples, showing that both have a significant impact on temporal evolutions of the stress distribution and on the size of the damage region. Applications of the approach to carry out in silico experiments of wound healing are promising and show good agreement with existing experiment results. © 2020 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

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