Course detail

Mechanics of Biological Tissues

FSI-9MBTAcad. year: 2020/2021

The course deals with constitutive relations of soft biological tissues, i.e. tissues showing large strains. These tissues are non-homogeneous, mostly with fibrous structure. Their structure with various types of fibres and their complex arrangement in the tissue cause their pronounced anisotropic properties with non-linear constitutive relations. A significant hysteresis is also typical for soft tissues; it can be described by linear or non-linear viscoelastic constitutive models, together with creep and stress relaxation. Soft tissues show a lot of other specific properties that cannot be found at technical materials at all (growth, necrosis, change of material properties in response to their load, remodelation, etc.).

Learning outcomes of the course unit

Students get a comprehensive overview of knowledge in the following problem regions, incl. skills in their computational modelling using program system Ansys or Abaqus:
• Theory of anisotropic linear elastic materials
• Theory of hyperelastic isotropic materials
• Theory of linear viscoelasticity (isotropic)
• Mechanical properties of structural components of soft tissues
• Structure and topology of soft tissues
• Theory of non-linear viscoelasticity (isotropic)
• Possibilities of computational modelling of hyperelastic non-isotropic materials
• Possibilities of computational modelling of specific properties of biological tissues


Basic knowledge of medical anatomical terminology concerning cardio-vascular system, knowledge of basic analytical and numerical methods used in stress-strain analysis.


Not applicable.

Recommended optional programme components

Not applicable.

Recommended or required reading

J.D.Humphrey: Cardiovascular Solid Mechanics. Springer
J.Valenta a kol.: Biomechanika srdečně cévního systému. ČVUT Praha
Y.C.Fung: Biomechanics; Mechanical Properties of Living Tissues. Springer
Křen J., Rosenberg J., Janíček P.: Biomechanika. Vydavatelství ZČU, 1997. (CS)
G.A.Holzapfel: Nonlinear Solid Mechanics. Wiley

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course is taught through individual consultations and self-study of the specified literature sources explaining the basic principles and theory of the discipline.

Assesment methods and criteria linked to learning outcomes

Exam consists of oral or written test of theoretical knowledge and of evaluation of the final project, based on computational modelling.

Language of instruction

Czech, English

Work placements

Not applicable.


The aim of the course is to provide knowledge about behaviour and mechanical properties of soft biological tissues and to manage the terminology and basic skills necessary for interdisciplinar collaboration in this field.

Specification of controlled education, way of implementation and compensation for absences

Studies are individual with a successive definition of items in the recommended literature.
The individual items are controled during consultations in intervals corresponding to the difficulty of the items.

Classification of course in study plans

  • Programme D-IME-P Doctoral, 1. year of study, summer semester, 0 credits, recommended

Type of course unit



20 hours, optionally

Teacher / Lecturer


1. Fundamentals of anatomy and physiology of cardiovascular system
2. Fundamentals of histology and pathology of soft tissues – structure, composition, pathological changes
3. Mechanical properties of structure components of tissues
4. Theory of anisotropic linear elastic materials
5. Theory of hyperelastic isotropic materials and their description.
6. Theory of hyperelastic anisotropic materials and their description.
7. Theory of linear and non-linear (isotropic) viscoelasticity.
8. Structure and topology of soft tissues
9. Possibilities of computational modelling of mechanical properties of biological materials.
10. Possibilities of computational modelling of specific properties of biological tissues (e.g. contractility).