Journal article

Hydro-mechanical coupling in the periodontal ligament: A porohyperelastic finite element model

Harmonic tension–compression tests at 0.1, 0.5 and 1 Hz on hydrated bovine periodontal ligament (PDL) were numerically simulated. The process was modeled by finite elements (FE) within the framework of poromechanics, with the objective of isolating the contributions of the solid- and fluid phases. The solid matrix was modeled as a porous hyperelastic material (hyperfoam) through which the incompressible fluid filling the pores flowed in accordance with the Darcy’s law. The hydro-mechanical coupling between the porous solid matrix and the fluid phase circulating through it provided an apparent time-dependent response to the PDL, whose rate of deformation depended on the permeability of the porous solid with respect to the interstitial fluid. Since the PDL was subjected to significant deformations, finite strains were taken into account and an exponential dependence of PDL permeability on void ratio – and therefore on the deformation state – was assumed. PDL constitutive parameters were identified by fitting the simulated response to the experimental data for the tests at 1 Hz. The values thus obtained were then used to simulate the tests at 0.1 and 0.5 Hz. The results of the present simulation demonstrate that a porohyperelastic model with variable permeability is able to describe the two main aspects of the PDL’s response: (1) the dependency on strain-rate—the saturated material can develop volumetric strains by only exchanging fluid and (2) the asymmetry between tension and compression, which is due to the effect of both the permeability and the elastic properties on deformation


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