The Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford, Eprints Archive

Validity of the Cauchy-Born rule applied to discrete cellular-scale models of biological tissues

Davit, Y. and Osborne, J. M. and Byrne, H. M. and Gavaghan, D. J. and Pitt-Francis, J. M. (2012) Validity of the Cauchy-Born rule applied to discrete cellular-scale models of biological tissues. Physical Review E . (Submitted)



The development of new models of biological tissues that consider cells in a discrete manner is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to PDE-based continuum methods, although formal relationships between the discrete and continuum frameworks remain to be established. For crystal mechanics, the discrete-to-continuum bridge is often made by assuming that local atom displacements can be mapped homogeneously from the mesoscale deformation gradient, an assumption known as the Cauchy-Born rule (CBR). Although the CBR does not hold exactly for non-crystalline materials, it may still be used as a first order approximation for analytic calculations of effective stresses or strain energies. In this work, our goal is to investigate numerically the applicability of the CBR to 2-D cellular-scale models by assessing the mechanical behaviour of model biological tissues, including crystalline (honeycomb) and non-crystalline reference states. The numerical procedure consists in precribing an affine deformation on the boundary cells and computing the position of internal cells. The position of internal cells is then compared with the prediction of the CBR and an average deviation is calculated in the strain domain. For centre-based models, we show that the CBR holds exactly when the deformation gradient is relatively small and the reference stress-free configuration is defined by a honeycomb lattice. We show further that the CBR may be used approximately when the reference state is perturbed from the honeycomb configuration. By contrast, for vertex-based models, a similar analysis reveals that the CBR does not provide a good representation of the tissue mechanics, even when the reference configuration is defined by a honeycomb lattice. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications of these results for concurrent discrete/continuous modelling, adaptation of atom-to-continuum (AtC) techniques to biological tissues and model classification.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:D - G > General
Research Groups:Oxford Centre for Collaborative Applied Mathematics
ID Code:1553
Deposited By: Peter Hudston
Deposited On:05 Jul 2012 07:50
Last Modified:29 May 2015 19:15

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