Frequency response of a viscoelastic tensegrity model: Structural rearrangement contribution to cell dynamics.

Journal of biomechanical engineering

PubMedID: 16813440

Cañadas P, Wendling-Mansuy S, Isabey D. Frequency response of a viscoelastic tensegrity model: Structural rearrangement contribution to cell dynamics. J Biomech Eng. 2006;128(4):487-95.
In an attempt to understand the role of structural rearrangement onto the cell response during imposed cyclic stresses, we simulated numerically the frequency-dependent behavior of a viscoelastic tensegrity structure (VTS model) made of 24 elastic cables and 6 rigid bars. The VTS computational model was based on the nonsmooth contact dynamics (NSCD) method in which the constitutive elements of the tensegrity structure are considered as a set of material points that mutually interact. Low amplitude oscillatory loading conditions were applied and the frequency response of the overall structure was studied in terms of frequency dependence of mechanical properties. The latter were normalized by the homogeneous properties of constitutive elements in order to capture the essential feature of spatial rearrangement. The results reveal a specific frequency-dependent contribution of elastic and viscous effects which is responsible for significant changes in the VTS model dynamical properties. The mechanism behind is related to the variable contribution of spatial rearrangement of VTS elements which is decreased from low to high frequency as dominant effects are transferred from mainly elastic to mainly viscous. More precisely, the elasticity modulus increases with frequency while the viscosity modulus decreases, each evolution corresponding to a specific power-law dependency. The satisfactorily agreement found between present numerical results and the literature data issued from in vitro cell experiments suggests that the frequency-dependent mechanism of spatial rearrangement presently described could play a significant and predictable role during oscillatory cell dynamics.