Modeling the biomechanical and injury response of human liver parenchyma under tensile loading

J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2015 Jan;41:280-91. doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2014.07.006. Epub 2014 Jul 17.


The rapid advancement in computational power has made human finite element (FE) models one of the most efficient tools for assessing the risk of abdominal injuries in a crash event. In this study, specimen-specific FE models were employed to quantify material and failure properties of human liver parenchyma using a FE optimization approach. Uniaxial tensile tests were performed on 34 parenchyma coupon specimens prepared from two fresh human livers. Each specimen was tested to failure at one of four loading rates (0.01s(-1), 0.1s(-1), 1s(-1), and 10s(-1)) to investigate the effects of rate dependency on the biomechanical and failure response of liver parenchyma. Each test was simulated by prescribing the end displacements of specimen-specific FE models based on the corresponding test data. The parameters of a first-order Ogden material model were identified for each specimen by a FE optimization approach while simulating the pre-tear loading region. The mean material model parameters were then determined for each loading rate from the characteristic averages of the stress-strain curves, and a stochastic optimization approach was utilized to determine the standard deviations of the material model parameters. A hyperelastic material model using a tabulated formulation for rate effects showed good predictions in terms of tensile material properties of human liver parenchyma. Furthermore, the tissue tearing was numerically simulated using a cohesive zone modeling (CZM) approach. A layer of cohesive elements was added at the failure location, and the CZM parameters were identified by fitting the post-tear force-time history recorded in each test. The results show that the proposed approach is able to capture both the biomechanical and failure response, and accurately model the overall force-deflection response of liver parenchyma over a large range of tensile loadings rates.

Keywords: Cohesive zone Model; Failure; Finite element; Human liver; Material model; Optimization; Parenchyma; Tensile test.

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Finite Element Analysis*
  • Humans
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / injuries*
  • Liver / physiology
  • Materials Testing*
  • Tensile Strength*
  • Weight-Bearing