Title

Simulation of Gravitational Field Variation on Fluid-Filled Biological Membranes

Abstract

The knowledge of the behavior of biological organs in a gravitational field is important to understand the functioning of the human body in the aerospace environment. The disturbances in biological transport processes in microgravity have indicated adverse effects on humans engaged in space operations. The relationship between the deformations in the biological organs and the transport phenomena that take place in them has been long established and widely reported in biological sciences and engineering literature. A number of soft tissue organs such as brain, lungs, heart, kidney, bladder, stomach, and the circulatory system can be modeled as fluid-filled membranes. In this investigation, a mathematical model of a fluid-filled biological membrane is developed, and its deformation and spatial configuration in a variable gravitational field are calculated. The variation in the gravitational field in the range 1g to zero-g is simulated by partial submergence of the fluid-filled membrane which, by virtue of buoyancy, gains an effective density as if it is in a different gravitational field. The equations of motion are derived using the theory of large elastic deformations and numerically solved in conjunction with a constitutive equation suitably selected for the biological membrane.

Department(s)

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Citation

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 1994 The Galileo Foundation, All rights reserved.

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