Modelling approaches for evaluating multiscale tendon mechanics

Fei Fang, Spencer P. Lake

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Tendon exhibits anisotropic, inhomogeneous and viscoelastic mechanical properties that are determined by its complicated hierarchical structure and varying amounts/organization of different tissue constituents. Although extensive research has been conducted to use modelling approaches to interpret tendon structure-function relationships in combination with experimental data, many issues remain unclear (i.e. the role of minor components such as decorin, aggrecan and elastin), and the integration of mechanical analysis across different length scales has not been well applied to explore stress or strain transfer from macro-to microscale. This review outlines mathematical and computational models that have been used to understand tendon mechanics at different scales of the hierarchical organization. Model representations at the molecular, fibril and tissue levels are discussed, including formulations that follow phenomenological and microstructural approaches (which include evaluations of crimp, helical structure and the interaction between collagen fibrils and proteoglycans). Multiscale modelling approaches incorporating tendon features are suggested to be an advantageous methodology to understand further the physiological mechanical response of tendon and corresponding adaptation of properties owing to unique in vivo loading environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20150044
JournalInterface Focus
Issue number1
StatePublished - 6 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational modelling
  • Mathematical modelling
  • Mechanical properties
  • Multiscale
  • Tendon


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