A nonlinear dynamic finite element approach for simulating muscular hydrostats

V. Vavourakis, A. Kazakidi, D.P. Tsakiris, J.A. Ekaterinaris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)


An implicit nonlinear finite element model for simulating biological muscle mechanics is developed. The numerical method is suitable for dynamic simulations of three-dimensional, nonlinear, nearly incompressible, hyperelastic materials that undergo large deformations. These features characterise biological muscles, which consist of fibres and connective tissues. It can be assumed that the stress distribution inside the muscles is the superposition of stresses along the fibres and the connective tissues. The mechanical behaviour of the surrounding tissues is determined by adopting a Mooney-Rivlin constitutive model, while the mechanical description of fibres is considered to be the sum of active and passive stresses. Due to the nonlinear nature of the problem, evaluation of the Jacobian matrix is carried out in order to subsequently utilise the standard Newton-Raphson iterative procedure and to carry out time integration with an implicit scheme. The proposed methodology is implemented into our in-house, open source, finite element software, which is validated by comparing numerical results with experimental measurements and other numerical results. Finally, the numerical procedure is utilised to simulate primitive octopus arm manoeuvres, such as bending and reaching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)917-931
Number of pages15
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Issue number8
Early online date1 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2014


  • biological muscles
  • FEM
  • large deformation
  • octopus arms

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