Estimating the material properties of heel pad sub-layers using inverse finite element analysis

Ahanchian, N, Nester, CJ ORCID:, Howard, D ORCID:, Ren, Lei and Parker, DJ ORCID: 2016, 'Estimating the material properties of heel pad sub-layers using inverse finite element analysis' , Medical Engineering & Physics, 40 , pp. 11-19.

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Detailed information about the biomechanical behaviour of plantar heel pad tissue contributes to our understanding of load transfer when the foot impacts the ground. The objective of this work was to obtain the hyperelastic and viscoelastic material properties of heel pad sub-layers (skin, micro-chamber and macro-chamber layers) in-vivo. An anatomically detailed 3D Finite Element model of the human heel was used to derive the sub-layer material properties. A combined ultrasound imaging and motorised platform system was used to compress heel pad and to create input data for the Finite Element model. The force-strain responses of the heel pad and its sub-layers under slow compression (5mm/s) and rapid loading-hold-unloading cycles (225mm/s), were measured and hyperelastic and viscoelastic properties of the three heel pad sub-layers were estimated by the model. The loaded (under ~315N) thickness of the heel pad was measured from MR images and used for hyperelastic model validation. The capability of the model to predict peak plantar pressure was used for further validation. Experimental responses of the heel pad under different dynamic loading scenarios (loading-hold-unloading cycles at 141mm/s and sinusoidal loading with maximum velocity of 300mm/s) were used to validate the viscoelastic model. Good agreement was achieved between the predicted and experimental results for both hyperelastic (<6.4% unloaded thickness, 4.4% maximum peak plantar pressure) and viscoelastic (Root Mean Square errors for loading and unloading periods <14.7%, 5.8% maximum force) simulations. This paper provides the first definition of material properties for heel pad sub-layers by using in-vivo experimental force-strain data and an anatomically detailed 3D Finite Element model of the heel.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Medical Engineering & Physics
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 1350-4533
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Professor Christopher Nester
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2017 09:29
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 21:39

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