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TECHNICAL PAPERS: Other

Simulation of the Aging Face

[+] Author and Article Information
E. Mazza1

Institute of Mechanical Systems, ETH Zentrum, 8092 Zurich, Switzerlandedoardo.mazza@imes.mavt.ethz.ch

O. Papes

Institute of Mechanical Systems, ETH Zentrum, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland

M. B. Rubin, S. R. Bodner

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel

N. S. Binur

 The Cosmetic Surgery Center of SE Texas, Port Arthur, TX 77642

1

Corresponding author.

J Biomech Eng 129(4), 619-623 (Dec 08, 2006) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2746388 History: Received April 07, 2006; Revised December 08, 2006

A three-dimensional finite element program is described which attempts to simulate the nonlinear mechanical behavior of an aging human face with specific reference to progressive gravimetric soft tissue descent. A cross section of the facial structure is considered to consist of a multilayered composite of tissues with differing mechanical behavior. Relatively short time (elastic-viscoplastic) behavior is governed by equations previously developed which are consistent with mechanical tests. The long time response is controlled by the aging elastic components of the tissues. An aging function is introduced which, in a simplified manner, models the observed loss of stiffness of these aging elastic components due to the history of straining as well as other physiological and environmental influences. Calculations have been performed for 30 years of exposure to gravitational forces. The deformations and stress distributions in the layers of the soft tissues are described. Overall, the feasibility of using constitutive relations which reflect the highly nonlinear elastic-viscoplastic behavior of facial soft tissues in finite element based three-dimensional mechanical analyses of the human face is demonstrated. Further developments of the program are discussed in relation to possible clinical applications. Although the proposed aging function produces physically reasonable long-term response, experimental data are not yet available for more quantitative validation.

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Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Three-dimensional FEM model of the face (left) with a cross section of the multilayer facial tissue model (right). Also, the fixation points associated with various ligaments and the boundaries of the face are indicated by dots at the nodes of the element mesh.

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Figure 2

Schematic representation of the mechanical model for facial tissue: (a) elastic (E) and dissipative (D) components; (b) long time deformation without aging; and (c) aging (weakening) of the elastic component

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Figure 3

Initial and final shapes of the face

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Figure 4

Early and final maximum principal stress distributions in the tissue layers

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