An implicit elastic theory for lung parenchyma Academic Article uri icon


  • The airways and parenchyma of lung experience large deformations during normal respiration. Spatially accurate predictions of airflow patterns and aerosol transport therefore require respiration to be modeled as a fluid-structure interaction problem. Such computational models in turn require constitutive models for the parencyhma that are both accurate and efficient. Herein, an implicit theory of elasticity is derived from thermodynamics to meet this need, leading to a generic template for strain-energy that is shown to be an exact analogue for the well-known Fung model that is the root of modern constitutive theory of tissues. To support this theory, we also propose a novel definition of Lagrangian strain rate. Unlike the classic definition of Lagrangian strain rate, this new definition is separable into volumetric and deviatoric terms, a separation that is both mathematically and physically justified. Within this framework, a novel material model capable of describing the elastic contribution of the nonlinear response of parenchyma is constructed and characterized against published data.

author list (cited authors)

  • Freed, A. D., & Einstein, D. R.

citation count

  • 29

publication date

  • January 2013