Review Paper: Continuum biomechanics of soft biological tissues

  title={Review Paper: Continuum biomechanics of soft biological tissues},
  author={James D. Humphrey},
  journal={Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences},
  pages={3 - 46}
  • J. D. Humphrey
  • Published 8 January 2003
  • Biology
  • Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Since its coming of age in the mid 1960s, continuum biomechanics has contributed much to our understanding of human health as well as to disease, injury, and their treatment. Nevertheless, biomechanics has yet to reach its full potential as a consistent contributor to the improvement of health–care delivery. Because of the inherent complexities of the microstructure and biomechanical behaviour of biological cells and tissues, there is a need for new theoretical frameworks to guide the design… 

Figures from this paper

Computational Biomechanics of Soft Biological Tissue
Part of the current knowledge of the biomechanics of soft biological tissue, such as the arterial wall, the heart wall with the heart valves, and the ligament, as well as some of the available computational methods used to analyze them are reviewed.
The mechanics of soft biological systems
This special issue is dedicated to the behavior of soft biological systems and, in particular, to the contributions by experts in continuum mechanics of solids, where the development of the mechanics of biological systems has reached a point where it can benefit enormously from the contributions of experts in nonlinear continuum mechanics.
Growth and remodeling of load-bearing biological soft tissues
The two primary theoretical approaches for describing mechano-regulated soft tissue growth and remodeling on the continuum level as well as hybrid approaches that attempt to combine the advantages of these two approaches while avoiding their disadvantages are reviewed.
Introduction to Continuum Biomechanics
This book allows description of when a bone may fracture due to excessive loading, how blood behaves as both a solid and fluid, down to how cells respond to mechanical forces that lead to changes in their behavior, a process known as mechanotransduction.
Computational Modeling of Growth and Remodeling in Biological Soft Tissues: Application to Arterial Mechanics
This chapter introduces a constrained rule-of-mixtures approach to modeling that can account for individual mechanical properties, natural (stress-free) configurations, and rates and extents of turnover of the different structurally significant constituents that make-up an artery.
Corneal biomechanics: a review
Different methods for the characterisation of corneal biomechanics are reviewed in detail, including those that are currently commercially available (Ocular Response Analyzer and CorVis ST) and the requirements for developing biomechanical models, with special emphasis on finite element modelling.
Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Extracellular Matrix Remodeling
  • J. Humphrey, M. Latorre
  • Biology, Engineering
    Multi-scale Extracellular Matrix Mechanics and Mechanobiology
  • 2019
There is a pressing need to understand better the intricate inter-relations between the biomechanics and the mechanobiology of arteries and so too for many other tissues and organs.
Computational and experimental characterization of skin mechanics: identifying current challenges and future directions
This work highlights the important concept of tightly integrating computational models, instrumentation, and imaging modalities into a single platform to investigate skin biomechanics and recommends the ongoing development of noninvasive instrumentation and imagingmodalities for in vivo skin measurements.
Modeling Growth in Biological Materials
A review of the theories used to model the biomechanical modeling of growing tissues, categorized according to whether the tissue is considered as a continuum object or a collection of cells, concludes by assessing the prospects for reconciliation between these two fundamentally different approaches to tissue growth.
Analytical and numerical analyses of the micromechanics of soft fibrous connective tissues
The mechanical responses of hyperelastic tissues with one and two families of collagen fibers are analyzed by application of a new variational estimate accounting for their histology and the behaviors of their constituents to determine the overall response of the wall of a healthy human coronary artery.


Why mechanobiology? A survey article.
Computer Methods in Membrane Biomechanics
Analytical, experimental, and numerical methods for studying the nonlinear, pseudoelastic behavior of membranes of interest in biomechanics as well as elastomeric membranes used in balloon catheters and new cell stretching tests are reviewed.
Biomechanics of cardiovascular development.
  • L. Taber
  • Engineering
    Annual review of biomedical engineering
  • 2001
A mechanical theory is presented that can be used to model developmental processes of the cardiovascular system and includes the effects of finite volumetric growth and active contractile forces.
Stress, Strain, growth, and remodeling of living organisms
If the authors knew how a tissue would change under various chemical, physical, and mechanical conditions, then it is possible that they can learn to control and “engineer” the tissue to do what they want it to do.
Functional tissue engineering: the role of biomechanics.
The authors present principles of functional tissue engineering that should be addressed when engineering repairs and replacements for load-bearing structures and suggest that incorporating each should result in safer and more efficacious repairs andreplacements for the surgeon and patient.
Brain mechanics For neurosurgery: modeling issues
It is concluded that a compressible viscoelastic solid model may be the most appropriate for modeling neurosurgical procedures.
Progress of research on impact biomechanics.
  • A. King
  • Engineering, Biology
    Journal of biomechanical engineering
  • 1993
Advances made in all four areas of impact biomechanics over the last two decades are described, including Mechanisms of Injury, Human Response to Impact, Human Tolerance to impact, and Development of Human Surrogates for Impact Simulation.
Elasticity of soft tissues in simple elongation.
  • Y. Fung
  • Biology
    The American journal of physiology
  • 1967
A theoretical framework is presented in which the elastic properties of soft tissues can be described and it is shown that the mathematical formulation works well also in reducing published data on the series element of the heart and striated muscles, and the skin.
Alternate Hybrid, Mixed, and Penalty Finite Element Formulations for the Biphasic Model of Soft Hydrated Tissues
It is widely accepted that soft connective tissues such as tendon, ligament, intervertebral disc, articular cartilage, and meniscus, are multiphasic materials, i.e. a mixture of collagen/elastin