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Three-dimensional finite element modelling of the human ACL: simulation of passive knee flexion with a stressed and stress-free ACL

Limbert, G., Taylor, M. and Middleton, J. (2004) Three-dimensional finite element modelling of the human ACL: simulation of passive knee flexion with a stressed and stress-free ACL Journal of Biomechanics, 37, (11), pp. 1723-1731. (doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2004.01.030).

Record type: Article


In this study, a three-dimensional finite element model of the human anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) was developed and simulations of passive knee flexion were performed. The geometrical model of the ACL was built from experimental measurements performed on a cadaveric knee specimen which was also subjected to kinematics tests. These experiments were used to enforce the particular boundary conditions used in the numerical model. A previously developed transversely isotropic hyperelastic material model was implemented and the ability to pre-stress the ligament was also included. The model exhibited the key characteristics of connective soft tissues: anisotropy, nonlinear behaviour, large strains, very high compliance for compressive or bending loading along the collagen fibres and incompressibility. Simulations of passive knee flexion were performed, with and without pre-stressing the ACL. The resultant force generated by the ACL was monitored and the results compared to existing experimental data. The stress distribution within the ligament was also assessed. When the ACL was pre-stressed, there was a good correlation between the predicted and experimental resultant forces reported in the literature over the entire flexion–extension range. The stress distribution in the pre-stressed and stress-free ACL were similar, although the magnitudes in the pre-stressed ACL were higher, particularly at low flexion angles.

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Published date: November 2004
Keywords: acl, constitutive law, transversely isotropic hyperelasticity, finite element, resultant force
Organisations: Engineering Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 68683
ISSN: 0021-9290
PURE UUID: 953192cb-0065-4610-9ec1-02380677cb85

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Date deposited: 16 Sep 2009
Last modified: 19 Jul 2017 00:17

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Author: G. Limbert
Author: M. Taylor
Author: J. Middleton

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