An anisotropic multiphysics damage model with application to annulus fibrosus

Xin Gao, Qiaoqiao Zhu, Weiyong Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


An anisotropic multiphysics damage model is developed to characterize the couplings among multiple physical fields within soft tissues and the tissue damage based on thermodynamic principles. This anisotropic multiphysics damage model integrates the continuum mixture theory and a continuum damage model, and the anisotropic damage is considered by evolution of internal damage variables governing the anisotropic mechanical behaviors of tissues. The energy dissipation associated with the transport of fluid and ions is generally related to tissue damage. The anisotropic multiphysics damage model is applied to simulate a case of annulus fibrosus (AF) damage in an isolated intervertebral disc under compression, to understand the damage initiation and propagation. It is found that, for this case (with 1000 N/s of compression rate and neglected ground matrix damage), the damage initiated in the outer and middle posterior regions of AF at about 700 N of axial compression. The region-dependent yield stretch ratio predicted by this model is consistent with experimental findings. A sensitive study on the damage parameters is also presented. This study provides an additional insight into AF damage in the isolated disc under mechanical compression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-93
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
StatePublished - Aug 16 2017


  • Continuum damage
  • Finite element analysis
  • Intervertebral disc
  • Multiple physical fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Rehabilitation


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