living matter lab


winter 14 - me337 - mechanics of growth


me 337 - mechanics of growth 14

ellen kuhl
adrian buganza tepole, alexander zollner
office hours wed 5:00-7:00, durand 247
course announcement

winter 2014
tue thu 11:00-12:15


in contrast to traditional engineering structures living structures show the fascinating ability to grow and adapt their form, shape and microstructure to a given mechanical environment. this course addresses the phenomenon of growth on a theoretical and computational level and applies the resulting theories to classical biomechanical problems like bone remodeling, hip replacement, wound healing, atherosclerosis or in stent restenosis. this course will illustrate how classical engineering concepts like continuum mechanics, thermodynamics or finite element modeling have to be rephrased in the context of growth. having attended this course, you will be able to develop your own problem-specific finite element based numerical solution techniques and interpret the results of biomechanical simulations with the ultimate goal of improving your understanding of the complex interplay between form and function.

journal club

mechanics of growth on imechanica

class papers

zöllner am, abilez oj, böl m, kuhl e. stretching skeletal muscle - chronic muscle lengthening through sarcomerogenesis. plos one, 2012;7(10):e45661. (download) (online)

pang h, shiwalkar ap, madormo cm, taylor re, andriacchi tp, kuhl e. computational modeling of bone density profiles in response to gait: a subject-specific approach. biomech model mechanobio, 2012;11:379-390. (download)

buganza tepole a, ploch cj, wong j, gosain ak, kuhl e. growing skin - a computational model for skin expansion in reconstructive surgery. j mech phys solids, 2011;59:2177-2190. (download)

taylor re, zheng ch, jackson pr, doll jc, chen jc, holzbaur krs, besier t, kuhl e. the phenomenon of twisted growth: humeral torsion in dominant arms of high performance tennis players. comp meth biomech biomed eng, 2009;12:83-93. (download)


  • 30 % homework - 3 homework assignments, 10% each
  • 30 % midterm - closed book, closed notes, one single page cheat sheet
  • 20 % final project oral presentations - graded by the class
  • 20 % final project essay - graded by instructor


day date topic slides homework
tue jan 07 motivation - everything grows! s01
thu jan 09 basics maths - notation and tensors s02 h01
tue jan 14 project example - growing skin s03
thu jan 16 kinematics - growing brains s04
tue jan 21 basic kinematics - large deformation and growth s05
thu jan 23 kinematics - growing hearts s06
tue jan 28 balance equations - closed and open systems s07
thu jan 30 balance equations - wound healing s08
tue feb 04 basic constitutive equations - growing muscle s09 h02
thu feb 06 basic constitutive equations - growing tumors s10
tue feb 11 volume growth - finite elements for growth - theory s11
thu feb 13 volume growth - finite elements for growth - matlab s12
tue feb 18 basic constitutive equations - growing bones s13
thu feb 20 density growth - finite elements for growth s14 h03
tue feb 25 density growth - growing wounds s15
thu feb 27 everything grows! - midterm summary s16
tue mar 04 midterm
thu mar 06 volume growth - growing hearts s18
tue mar 11 class project - discussion, presentation, evaluation s19 h04
thu mar 13 no class - work on final project reports
fri mar 15 final project reports due

final project

ASME SBC 2011.jpg

buganza a, wong j, kuhl e. computational modeling of mechanically driven skin growth due to different expander geometries, farmington, pennsylvania, 2011

matlab files

finally... here's the matlab code for growth

additional reading

(1) taber l. biomechanics of growth, remodeling, and morphogenesis, appl mech rew 48, 487-545, 1995
(2) kuhl e, menzel a, steinmann p. computational modeling of growth - a critical review, a classification and two new consistent approaches, computational mechanics 32, 71-88, 2003
(3) rodriguez ek, hoger a, mc culloch a. stress-dependent finite growth in soft elastic tissues, j biomechanics 27, 455-467, 1994
(4) kuhl e, maas r, himpel g, menzel a. computational modeling of arterial wall growth - attempts towards patient-specific simulations based on computer tomography, biomech model mechanobio 6, 321-331, 2007
(5) göktepe s, abilez oj, parker kk, kuhl e. a multiscale model for eccentric and concentric cardiac growth through sarcomerogenesis.j theor bio 265: 433-442, 2010
(6) ambrosi d, ateshian ga, arruda em, cowin sc, dumais j, goriely a, holzapfel ga, humphrey jd, kemkemer r, kuhl e, olberding je, taber la, garikipati k. perspectives on biological growth and remodeling.j mech phys solids 59: 863-883, 2011
(7) zöllner am, buganza tepole A, kuhl e. on the biomechanics and mechanobiology of growing skin. j theor bio 297, 166-175, 2012
(8) menzel a, kuhl e. frontiers in growth and remodeling. mech res comm 42,1-14, 2012