3-D Finite Element Model of the Two-Layered Esophagus: The Effects of Residual Strains and Buckling of Mucosa

W. Yang, T.C. Fung, K.S. Chian, and C.K. Chong (Singapore)


finite element analysis (FEA), residual strain, buckling of mucosa, active muscle contraction


This study is to develop a two-layered finite element (FE) model of the esophagus. The outer muscle and inner mucosal layer were constructed individually with different mechanical properties and zero-stress opening angles. With the model two simulations were performed. Firstly, the distention of esophageal wall under the pressurized state was investigated and from which the effects of residual strains on the stress distribution were evaluated. Secondly, the buckling modes were determined using a linear eigenvalue analysis. The self-contact capability in ABAQUS was applied to simulate the folding of mucosa under the muscle contraction. The first simulation indicated that, by taking the residual strains into account, the mucosa undertook a very small stress and the luminal pressure almost transmitted completely to the outer muscle layer. On the other hand, the folding of mucosa was shown to be able to reduce the contractile force of circular muscle to maintain the closure of lumen. In conclusion, the preliminary study demonstrated the feasibility of simulating the esophageal peristaltic transport using finite element analysis (FEA).

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