Elastic Moduli of Lungs

[+] Author and Article Information
B. Budiansky

Division of Applied Sciences, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138

E. Kimmel

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139

J. Appl. Mech 54(2), 351-358 (Jun 01, 1987) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3173019 History: Received June 30, 1986; Revised October 29, 1986; Online July 21, 2009


Macroscopic elastic moduli governing the incremental deformation of pressurized lungs are calculated on the basis of a micromechanical study of an individual lung element (alveolus). The spongy lung tissue (parenchyma) is presumed to be in an initial state of isotropic tension, and the lung alveolus is idealized as a pin-jointed truss in the shape of a regular dodecahedron. The analysis is based on a variational statement of nonlinear structural mechanics, and the results show how the moduli depend on the initial tension and the assumed constitutive behavior of the idealized truss members.

Copyright © 1987 by ASME
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