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Microstuctural models of ligament and tendon elasticity and viscoelasticity


The department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Limerick invites you to a seminar by  Dr Tom Shearer (The University of Manchester):

Title:  Microstuctural models of ligament and tendon elasticity and viscoelasticity

Abstract: Ligaments and tendons are vital structures in the musculoskeletal systems of vertebrates that consist of collagen fibres organised in a hierarchical structure. Their main subunit is the fascicle which is made of crimped fibrils. In this talk, I will discuss two models that describe the mechanical behaviour of ligaments and tendons and are based on the microstructure described above.

The first model is a non-linear elastic model, which is expected to be valid in the low strain-rate limit. I will derive a new strain energy function for modelling ligaments and tendons based on the geometrical arrangement of their fibrils, and will compare the ability of the new model to reproduce experimental data with that of the commonly-used Holzapfel-Gasser-Ogden (HGO) model. I will show that the new model gives a better fit to stress-strain data for human patellar tendon than the HGO model and will use it to explain the mechanical differences between positional and energy-storing tendons.

The second model is a viscoelastic model. By assuming that each fibril is now linearly viscoelastic, I will show that several complex, non-linear viscoelastic effects arise directly as a result of their being a distribution of fibril crimp lengths. The viscoelastic model also shows excellent agreement with experimental data, and can reproduce different data sets with the same set of constitutive parameters simply by changing the crimp distribution parameters.

This seminar will take place today Friday, 15th  September , at 4pm, in  Room A2-002.

If you have any questions regarding this seminar, please direct them to Iain Moyles (061 233726,

Supported by Science Foundation Ireland funding, MACSI - the Mathematics Applications Consortium for Science and Industry (, centred at the University of Limerick, is dedicated to the mathematical modelling and solution of problems which arise in science, engineering and industry in Ireland.