Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering

First Advisor

Franck J. Vernerey

Second Advisor

Stephanie J. Bryant

Third Advisor

Richard A. Regueiro

Fourth Advisor

Ronald Y. Pak


Tissue failure due to aging or diseases reduces the quality of life for individuals. In the case of cartilage tissue, the current solution is to use implants to fulfill the functional duties of native tissue. However, this approach has limitations, such as periodic replacement and number of the required operations. Tissue engineering provides an alternative approach in which the aim is to regenerate the native tissue by a population of cells encapsulated in a scaffold (i.e. hydrogels). Although this approach is promising, there are several limitations regarding the design of these scaffolds which can be overcome only by the deep understanding of the coupling between mechanics and biological remodeling. For that reason, computational models are essential component of the ongoing research due to the cost and time limitations of the experimental studies.

The aim of this study is to present a 3D computational tool based on the existing theories of remodeling in biological materials. The tool is composed of two parts; (i) an optimization tool which allows to assess the property-structure-property relationship of the scaffolds, (ii) a 3D finite element model that captures the coupling between the mechanics and cell mediated remodeling. The optimization tool, so called self learning algorithm aims two objectives. First objective is to generate input data for the mechanistic model and simulate real cases, which will allow us to know where we are in our search for optimum scaffold properties. Second, a map between design parameters and physical properties has been built in order to direct our search in an efficient way. Second part of the computational tool is a 3D multi-scale, finite element (FE) model for remodeling in biological materials at finite growth. Both models are based on the mixture theory at finite strain and utilizes various existing theories including well known Flory-Rehner theory of swollen networks.