A promising approach for modeling biological fibers Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2016, Springer-Verlag Wien. The final-to-initial stiffness ratio is very large (>100) for many biological fibers, and as such, these materials have been modeled as being strain limiting. We propose an unconventional structure for a stored energy function that leads to a constitutive relation capable of describing this observed strain-limiting behavior. The model can attain infinite stress at a finite strain while storing a finite amount of internal energy. Many biological fibers have a mechanical response that starts out as being compliant and nonlinear, and transitions into one that is stiff and linear. We present a biological fiber model comprised of a strain-limiting fiber (strain being attributed to molecular reconfiguration) loaded in conjunction with a Hookean fiber (strain being attributed to molecular stretch). The model’s parameters are physical, intuitive and readily extracted from a stress/strain curve. Chordæ tendineæ data are used to demonstrate the efficacy of the model.

author list (cited authors)

  • Freed, A. D., & Rajagopal, K. R.

publication date

  • January 1, 2016 11:11 AM