Volume-averaging theory for the study of the mechanics of collagen networks

Triantafyllos Stylianopoulos, Victor H. Barocas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

165 Scopus citations


A multiscale methodology has been developed for modeling mechanical behavior of collagen fiber networks. The methodology addresses scale separation between the macroscopic, tissue-level scale and the microscopic, fiber-level scale. A three-dimensional, Galerkin finite-element model has been employed for the macroscopic scale, while the tissue microstructure is represented as a three-dimensional fibrillar network. The model was applied to a rectangular slab in uniaxial extension. A heterogeneous microstructure resulted in a non-uniform deformation field, and Poisson's ratio varied for networks with different alignments. The model was also specified and compared to published data relating microstructure to macroscopic behavior of collagen gels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2981-2990
Number of pages10
JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
Issue number31-32
StatePublished - Jun 15 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (1 R01 EB005813-01). Simulations were made possible by a resources grant from the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute.


  • Collagen networks
  • Mechanical properties
  • Multiscale modeling
  • Tissue engineering


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