Stress distribution retrieval in granular materials: A multi-scale model and digital image correlation measurements

Luigi Bruno, Paolo Decuzzi, Francesco Gentile

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The promise of nanotechnology lies in the possibility of engineering matter on the nanoscale and creating technological interfaces that, because of their small scales, may directly interact with biological objects, creating new strategies for the treatment of pathologies that are otherwise beyond the reach of conventional medicine. Nanotechnology is inherently a multiscale, multiphenomena challenge. Fundamental understanding and highly accurate predictive methods are critical to successful manufacturing of nanostructured materials, bio/mechanical devices and systems. In biomedical engineering, and in the mechanical analysis of biological tissues, classical continuum approaches are routinely utilized, even if these disregard the discrete nature of tissues, that are an interpenetrating network of a matrix (the extra cellular matrix, ECM) and a generally large but finite number of cells with a size falling in the micrometer range. Here, we introduce a nano-mechanical theory that accounts for the-non continuum nature of bio systems and other discrete systems. This discrete field theory, doublet mechanics (DM), is a technique to model the mechanical behavior of materials over multiple scales, ranging from some millimeters down to few nanometers. In the paper, we use this theory to predict the response of a granular material to an external applied load. Such a representation is extremely attractive in modeling biological tissues which may be considered as a spatial set of a large number of particulate (cells) dispersed in an extracellular matrix. Possibly more important of this, using digital image correlation (DIC) optical methods, we provide an experimental verification of the model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-26
Number of pages10
JournalOptics and Lasers in Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 9 2016


  • Biological tissues
  • Digital image correlation
  • Doublet mechanics
  • Granular materials
  • Nano mechanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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