Bayesian inference of constitutive model parameters from uncertain uniaxial experiments on murine tendons.


Department of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Statistics, University of NotreDame, Notre Dame, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Constitutive models for biological tissue are typically formulated as a mixture of constituents and the overall response is then assembled by superposition or compatibility. This ensures the stress response of the biological tissue to be in the range of a given constitutive relationship, guaranteeing that at least one parameter combination exists so that an experimental response can be sufficiently well captured. Another, perhaps more challenging, problem is to use constitutive models as a proxy to infer the structure/function of a biological tissue from experiments. In other words, we determine the optimal set of parameters by solving an inverse problem and use these parameters to infer the integrity of the tissue constituents. In previous studies, we focused on the mechanical stress-stretch response of the murine patellar tendon at various age and healing timepoints and solved the inverse problem using three constitutive models, i.e., the Freed-Rajagopal, Gasser-Ogden-Holzapfel and Shearer in order of increasing microstructural detail. Herein, we extend this work by adopting a Bayesian perspective on parameter estimation and implement the constitutive relations in the tulip library for uncertainty analysis, critically analyzing parameter marginals, correlations, identifiability and sensitivity. Our results show the importance of investigating the variability of parameter estimates and that results from optimization may be misleading, particularly for models with many parameters inferred from limited experimental evidence. In our study, we show that different age and healing conditions do not correspond to statistically significant separation among the Gasser-Ogden-Holzapfel and Shearer model parameters, while the phenomenological Freed-Rajagopal model is instead characterized by better indentifiability and parameter learning. Use of the complete experimental observations rather than averaged stress-stretch responses appears to positively constrain inference and results appear to be invariant with respect to the scaling of the experimental uncertainty.


Bayesian inference,Constitutive models for murine patellar tendons,Parameter sensitivity and identifiability,Uncertainty quantification,