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An improved parameter estimation and comparison for soft tissue constitutive models containing an exponential function / Ankush Aggarwal

Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology

Swansea University Author: Aggarwal, Ankush

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DOI (Published version): 10.1007/s10237-017-0889-3

Abstract

Motivated by the well-known result that stiffness of soft tissue is proportional to the stress, many of the constitutive laws for soft tissues contain an exponential function. In this work, we analyze properties of the exponential function and how it affects the estimation and comparison of elastic...

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Published in: Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology
ISSN: 1617-7959
Published: 2017
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Abstract: Motivated by the well-known result that stiffness of soft tissue is proportional to the stress, many of the constitutive laws for soft tissues contain an exponential function. In this work, we analyze properties of the exponential function and how it affects the estimation and comparison of elastic parameters for soft tissues. In particular, we find that as a consequence of the exponential function there are lines of high covariance in the elastic parameter space. As a result, one can have widely varying mechanical parameters defining the tissue stiffness but similar effective stress–strain responses. Drawing from elementary algebra, we propose simple changes in the norm and the parameter space, which significantly improve the convergence of parameter estimation and robustness in the presence of noise. More importantly, we demonstrate that these changes improve the conditioning of the problem and provide a more robust solution in the case of heterogeneous material by reducing the chances of getting trapped in a local minima. Based upon the new insight, we also propose a transformed parameter space which will allow for rational parameter comparison and avoid misleading conclusions regarding soft tissue mechanics.
College: College of Engineering