Nov 1, 2018

Discrete Mechanical Growth Model for Plant Tissue

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Louis D Weise, Kirsten H.W.J. ten Tusscher


We present a discrete mechanical model to study plant development. The method is built up of mass points, springs and hinges mimicking the plant cell wall's microstructure. To model plastic growth the resting lengths of springs are adjusted; when springs exceed a threshold length, new mass points, springs and hinges, are added. We formulate a stiffness tensor for the springs and hinges as a function of the fourth rank tensor of elasticity and the geometry of the mesh. This allows us to approximate the material law as a generalized orthotropic Hooke's law, and control material properties during growth. The material properties of the model are illustrated in numerical simulations for finite strain and plastic growth. To solve the equations of motion of mass points we assume elastostatics and use Verlet integration. The method is demonstrated in simulations when anisotropic growth causes emergent residual strain fields in cell walls and a bending of bulk tissue. The method can be used in multilevel models to study plant development, for example by coupling it to models for cytoskeletal, hormonal and gene regulatory processes.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Animal Cancer Model
Decompression Sickness
Bending - Changing Basic Body Position
Neuronal Plasticity
Surgical Mesh
Genes, Regulator
Cell Wall
Plant Development

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