Estimating material parameters of a structurally based constitutive relation for skin mechanics

Biomech Model Mechanobiol. 2011 Oct;10(5):767-78. doi: 10.1007/s10237-010-0272-0. Epub 2010 Nov 25.


This paper presents a structurally based modeling framework to characterize the structure-function relation in skin tissues, based upon biaxial tensile experiments performed in vitro on porcine skin. Equi-axial deformations were imposed by stretching circular skin specimens uniformly along twelve directions, and the resultant loads at the membrane attachment points were measured. Displacement fields at each deformation step were tracked using an image 2D cross-correlation technique. A modeling framework was developed to simulate the experiments, whereby measured forces were applied to finite element models that were created to represent the geometry and structure of the tissue samples. Parameters of a structurally based constitutive relation were then identified using nonlinear optimization. Results showed that the ground matrix stiffness ranged from 5 to 32 kPa, fiber orientation mean from 2 to 13(◦) from the torso midline, fiber undulation mean from 1.04 to 1.34 and collagen fiber stiffness from 48 to 366 MPa. It was concluded that the objective function was highly sensitive to the mean orientation and that a priori information about fiber orientation mean was important for the reliable identification of constitutive parameters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena*
  • Swine