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Interface Focus. 2016 Feb 6;6(1):20150063. doi: 10.1098/rsfs.2015.0063.

Continuum theory of fibrous tissue damage mechanics using bond kinetics: application to cartilage tissue engineering.

Author information

1
Department of Biomedical Engineering , Columbia University , 500 West 120th Street, MC4703, New York, NY 10027 , USA.
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering , Columbia University , 500 West 120th Street, MC4703, New York, NY 10027 , USA.
3
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, 500 West 120th Street, MC4703, New York, NY 10027, USA; Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, 500 West 120th Street, MC4703, New York, NY 10027, USA.

Abstract

This study presents a damage mechanics framework that employs observable state variables to describe damage in isotropic or anisotropic fibrous tissues. In this mixture theory framework, damage is tracked by the mass fraction of bonds that have broken. Anisotropic damage is subsumed in the assumption that multiple bond species may coexist in a material, each having its own damage behaviour. This approach recovers the classical damage mechanics formulation for isotropic materials, but does not appeal to a tensorial damage measure for anisotropic materials. In contrast with the classical approach, the use of observable state variables for damage allows direct comparison of model predictions to experimental damage measures, such as biochemical assays or Raman spectroscopy. Investigations of damage in discrete fibre distributions demonstrate that the resilience to damage increases with the number of fibre bundles; idealizing fibrous tissues using continuous fibre distribution models precludes the modelling of damage. This damage framework was used to test and validate the hypothesis that growth of cartilage constructs can lead to damage of the synthesized collagen matrix due to excessive swelling caused by synthesized glycosaminoglycans. Therefore, alternative strategies must be implemented in tissue engineering studies to prevent collagen damage during the growth process.

KEYWORDS:

cartilage tissue engineering; damage mechanics; fibrous tissues

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