Computational homogenization of histological microstructures in human prostate tissue: Heterogeneity, anisotropy and tension‐compression asymmetry

Calum Anderson, Chara Ntala, Ali Ozel, Robert L. Reuben, Yuhang Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Human prostatic tissue exhibits complex mechanical behaviour due to its multiphasic, heterogeneous nature, with hierarchical microstructures involving epithelial compartments, acinar lumens and stromal tissue all interconnected in complex networks. This study aims to establish a computational homogenization framework for quantifying the mechanical behaviour of prostate tissue, considering its multiphasic heterogeneous microstructures and the mechanical characteristics of tissue constituents. Representative tissue microstructure models were reconstructed from high‐resolution histology images. Parametric studies on the mechanical properties of the tissue constituents, particularly the fibre‐reinforced hyper‐elasticity of the stromal tissue, were carried out to investigate their effects on the apparent tissue properties. These were then benchmarked against the experimental data reported in literature. Results showed significant anisotropy, both structural and mechanical, and tension‐compression asymmetry of the apparent behaviours of the prostatic tissue. Strong correlation with the key microstructural indices such as area fractions of tissue constituents and the tissue fabric tensor was also observed. The correlation between the stromal tissue orientation and the principal directions of the apparent properties suggested an essential role of stromal tissue in determining the directions of anisotropy and the compression‐tension asymmetry characteristics in normal human prostatic tissue. This work presented a homogenization and histology‐based computational approach to characterize the apparent mechanical behaviours of human prostatic or other similar glandular tissues, with the ultimate aim of assessing how pathological conditions (e.g., prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia) could affect the tissue mechanical properties in a future study.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3758
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Biomedical Engineering
Issue number11
Early online date21 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • soft tissue mechanics
  • prostate tissue
  • multiscale modelling
  • histology
  • homogenization


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