The effect of material modeling on finite element analysis of human breast biomechanics

Leonardo Ruggiero, Hugo Sol, Hichem Sahli, Sigrid M. Adriaenssens, Nele Adriaenssens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Finite element analysis has been used extensively in the study of biomechanical modeling of the breast. However, issues regarding the complexity of material models and the influences of geometric boundary conditions on the accuracy of a breast Finite Element (FE) model are still under debate. This work demonstrates the importance of material modeling in FE models of the breast. Methods: A simple hemispherical geometry is used to model the shape of a human breast. Different material models are being investigated to accurately model changes in terms of displacement, stress, and reaction forces distribution. Results: The results obtained using nonlinear material models are compared with those obtained employing their linear approximation. Results have shown that differences, in terms of displacement, ranging between 20% and more than 80%, may occur and that large differences are present in terms of maximum principal stresses when the displacement is correctly approximated. Conclusions: This study clearly shows that, in a FE model, simulating large deformations material modeling strongly influences the accuracy of the solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-34
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Biomaterials and Functional Materials
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biophysics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


  • Finite element analysis
  • Human breast modeling
  • Linear elasticity
  • Nonlinear elasticity


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