A study of breast motion using non-linear dynamic FE analysis

Li Hua Chen, Sun Pui Ng, Winnie Yu, Jie Zhou, K. W.Frances Wan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a new method to simulate non-linear breast motion by using a three-dimensional (3D) dynamic finite element model (FEM). The model consists of a thorax with two breasts and three skin layers with specific mechanical properties. Using free breast vibration, the viscous damping ratios were ascertained to be 0.215 for an 80B size breast. The shear modulus for the breast was derived as the value that gave the minimum difference between the FEM-predicted results and the experimental data. A hyper-elastic neo-Hookean material model simulated the large deformation of breast tissue. The mode shapes of breast motions at different natural frequencies were established. The highest breast displacement amplitude ratio relative to the thorax was at 4 Hz. The study showed that FEM can predict breast displacement with sufficient accuracy and thereby provide the basis by which bras may be engineered more ergonomically in the future. Practitioner Summary: To facilitate a theoretical analysis of breast motion to enable the design of more supportive bras, a dynamic FEM based on reliable non-linear properties of breast tissues has been developed. The methods and findings have potential widespread benefit for developing new products to promote women's health and comfort.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)868-878
Number of pages11
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • breast
  • dynamic
  • finite element
  • hyper-elastic behaviour
  • large deformation


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