Multicyclic modelling of softening in biological tissue

S. R. Rickaby, N. H. Scott

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6 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we derive a model to describe the important inelastic features associated with the cyclic softening, often referred to as stress softening, of soft biological tissue. The model developed here includes the notion of multiple stress–strain cycles with increasing values of the maximum strain. The model draws upon the similarities between the cyclic softening associated with carbon-filled rubber vulcanizates and soft biological tissue. We give non-linear transversely isotropic models for the elastic response, stress relaxation, residual strain and creep of residual strain. These ideas are then combined with a transversely isotropic version of the Arruda–Boyce eight-chain model to develop a constitutive relation that is capable of accurately representing the multicyclic softening of soft biological tissue. To establish the validity of the model, we have compared it with experimental data from three cyclic uniaxial test samples, one taken from the Manduca sexta (tobacco hornworm) caterpillar and the other two samples taken from the human aorta, one in the longitudinal and the other in the circumferential direction. The model was found to fit these experimental data extremely well.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1107-1125
Number of pages19
JournalIMA Journal of Applied Mathematics
Issue number6
Early online date12 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Mullins effect
  • stress relaxation
  • creep of residual strain
  • biological tissue
  • transverse isotropy

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