A two-phase model of plantar tissue: A step toward prediction of diabetic foot ulceration

G. Sciumè, D. P. Boso, W. G. Gray, C. Cobelli, B. A. Schrefler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


A new computational model, based on the thermodynamically constrained averaging theory, has been recently proposed to predict tumor initiation and proliferation. A similar mathematical approach is proposed here as an aid in diabetic ulcer prevention. The common aspects at the continuum level are the macroscopic balance equations governing the flow of the fluid phase, diffusion of chemical species, tissue mechanics, and some of the constitutive equations. The soft plantar tissue is modeled as a two-phase system: a solid phase consisting of the tissue cells and their extracellular matrix, and a fluid one (interstitial fluid and dissolved chemical species). The solid phase may become necrotic depending on the stress level and on the oxygen availability in the tissue. Actually, in diabetic patients, peripheral vascular disease impacts tissue necrosis; this is considered in the model via the introduction of an effective diffusion coefficient that governs transport of nutrients within the microvasculature. The governing equations of the mathematical model are discretized in space by the finite element method and in time domain using the θ-Wilson Method. While the full mathematical model is developed in this paper, the example is limited to the simulation of several gait cycles of a healthy foot.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1153-1169
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Effective stress principle
  • Multiphase
  • Porous media
  • TCAT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Molecular Biology
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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