A three-dimensional finite element model for a poroelastic medium has been coupled with a least squares parameter estimation method for the purpose of assessing material properties based on intradiscal displacement and reactive forces. Parameter optimization may be based on either load or displacement control experiments. In this paper we present the basis of the finite element model and the parameter estimation process. The method is then applied to a test problem and the computational behavior is discussed. Sequential optimization on different parameter groups was found to have superior convergence properties. Some guidelines for choosing the starting parameter values for optimization were deduced by considering the form of the objective function. For load control experiments, in which displacement data is used for the optimization, the starting values for the elastic modulus should be lower in magnitude than an “anticipated” modulus. The permeability starting values should be higher than an anticipated permeability. For displacement control experiments, the reverse is true. The optimization scheme was also tested on data with random variations.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.