Finite element 3D modeling of mechanical behavior of mineralized collagen microfibrils

Abdelwahed Barkaoui, Ridha Hambli
Journal of Applied Biomaterials & Biomechanics: JABB 2011, 9 (3): 199-205

PURPOSE: The aim of this work is to develop a 3D finite elements model to study the nanomechanical behavior of mineralized collagen microfibrils, which consists of three phases, (i) collagen phase formed by five tropocollagen (TC) molecules linked together with cross-links, (ii) a mineral phase (Hydroxyapatite), and (iii) impure mineral phase, and to investigate the important role of individual properties of every constituent.

METHODS: The mechanical and geometric properties (TC molecule diameter) of both tropocollagen and mineral were taken into consideration as well as cross-links, which was represented by spring elements with adjusted properties based on experimental data. In this paper an equivalent homogenized model was developed to assess the whole microfibril mechanical properties (Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio) under varying mechanical properties of each phase.

RESULTS: In this study, both equivalent Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio, which were expressed as functions of Young's modulus of each phase, were obtained under tensile load with symmetric and periodic boundary conditions.

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