Wrinkling, creasing, and folding in fiber-reinforced soft tissues
Stewart PS., Waters SL., El Sayed T., Vella D., Goriely A.
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd Many biological tissues develop elaborate folds during growth and development. The onset of this folding is often understood in relation to the creasing and wrinkling of a thin elastic layer that grows whilst attached to a large elastic foundation. In reality, many biological tissues are reinforced by fibers and so are intrinsically anisotropic. However, the correlation between the fiber directions and the pattern formed during growth is not well understood. Here, we consider the stability of a two-layer tissue composed of a thin hyperelastic strip adhered to an elastic half-space in which are embedded elastic fibers. The combined object is subject to a uniform compression and, at a critical value of this compression, buckles out of the plane — it wrinkles. We characterize the wrinkle wavelength at onset as a function of the fiber orientation both computationally and analytically and show that the onset of surface instability can be either promoted or inhibited as the fiber stiffness increases, depending on the fiber angle. However, we find that the structure of the resulting folds is approximately independent of the fiber orientation. We also explore numerically the formation of large creases in fiber-reinforced tissue in the post-buckling regime.