Point Forces in Elasticity Equation and Their Alternatives in Multi Dimensions

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We consider several mathematical issues regarding models that simulate forces exerted by cells. Since the size of cells is much smaller than the size of the domain of computation, one often considers point forces, modelled by Dirac Delta distributions on boundary segments of cells. In the current paper, we treat forces that are directed normal to the cell boundary and that are directed toward the cell centre. Since it can be shown that there exists no smooth solution, at least not in H1 for solutions to the governing momentum balance equation, we analyse the convergence and quality of approximation. Furthermore, the expected finite element problems that we get necessitate to scrutinize alternative model formulations, such as the use of smoothed Dirac distributions, or the so-called smoothed particle approach as well as the so-called hole approach where cellular forces are modelled through the use of (natural) boundary conditions. In this paper, we investigate and attempt to quantify the conditions for consistency between the various approaches. This has resulted into error analyses in the H1-norm of the numerical solution based on Galerkin principles that entail Lagrangian basis functions. The paper also addresses well-posedness in terms of existence and uniqueness. The current analysis has been performed for the linear steady-state (hence neglecting inertia and damping) momentum equations under the assumption of Hooke's law.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDelft
PublisherDelft University of Technology
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameReports of the Delft Institute of Applied Mathematics
ISSN (Print)1389-6520


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