We present a fiber-distributed model of the reinforcing collagen of the human cornea. The model describes the basic connections between the components of the tissue by defining an elementary block (cell) and upscaling it to the physical size of the cornea. The cell is defined by two sets of collagen fibrils running in approximately orthogonal directions, characterized by a random distribution of the spatial orientation and connected by chemical bonds of two kinds. The bonds of the first kind describe the lamellar crosslinks, forming the ribbon-like lamellae; while the bonds of the second kind describe the stacking crosslinks, piling up the lamellae to form the structure of the stroma. The spatial replication of the cell produces a truss structure with a considerable number of degrees of freedom. The statistical characterization of the collagen fibrils leads to a mechanical model that reacts to the action of the deterministic intraocular pressure with a stochastic distribution of the displacements, here characterized by their mean value and variance. The strategy to address the solution of the heavy resulting numerical problem is to use the so-called stochastic finite element improved perturbation method combined with a fully explicit solver. The results demonstrate that the variability of the mechanical properties affects in a non-negligible manner the expected response of the structure to the physiological action.

A numerical model of the human cornea accounting for the fiber-distributed collagen microstructure

De Bellis M. L.;Vasta M.;Gizzi A.;
2023-01-01

Abstract

We present a fiber-distributed model of the reinforcing collagen of the human cornea. The model describes the basic connections between the components of the tissue by defining an elementary block (cell) and upscaling it to the physical size of the cornea. The cell is defined by two sets of collagen fibrils running in approximately orthogonal directions, characterized by a random distribution of the spatial orientation and connected by chemical bonds of two kinds. The bonds of the first kind describe the lamellar crosslinks, forming the ribbon-like lamellae; while the bonds of the second kind describe the stacking crosslinks, piling up the lamellae to form the structure of the stroma. The spatial replication of the cell produces a truss structure with a considerable number of degrees of freedom. The statistical characterization of the collagen fibrils leads to a mechanical model that reacts to the action of the deterministic intraocular pressure with a stochastic distribution of the displacements, here characterized by their mean value and variance. The strategy to address the solution of the heavy resulting numerical problem is to use the so-called stochastic finite element improved perturbation method combined with a fully explicit solver. The results demonstrate that the variability of the mechanical properties affects in a non-negligible manner the expected response of the structure to the physiological action.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/820136
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