Biomechanics rationale

Rod Lakes
University of Wisconsin



1. Orthopaedic biomechanics. Understand the mechanics of muscles, bones, and joints to guide clinicians in healing, rehabilitation, and for engineers in the design of implants and appliances.

2. Dental biomechanics. Understand the mechanics of teeth and the jawbone with the aim of improving the quality of dental restorations.

3. Biomechanics as a basic science. Understand the physics of plant structure and animal movement. Compare different organisms at the system level, the organ level, and the tissue level. Understand the mechanical aspects of adaptation of organisms to their environment.

4. Sports biomechanics. Use one's understanding of the mechanics of the musculoskeletal system to enhance performance and reduce the incidence of injury.

5. Biomechanics in otorhinolarygology. Understand the movement of the ossicles and tympanic membrane with the aim of better treatment of hearing disorders.

5. Aerospace biomechanics. What are the limits of human endurance of acceleration and vibration? How may these limits be extended? How may injury be prevented in extreme maneuvers, pilot ejection, and other activities?

6. Cardiovascular biomechanics. How does an understanding of fluid flow facilitate the design of artificial heart valves? Comparing cardiac muscle with skeletal muscle, what are the similarities and differences?

Students will be expected to develop an understanding of the important issues regarding the application of engineering tools in the study of biological tissue mechanics. Problem solving skills will be emphasized through homework assignments and laboratory sessions. The laboratory assignments are intended to provide experience in instrumentation, practice in report writing, and practice in graphical presentation. Specific topics include: structure and function of biological tissues, mechanical properties of biological tissues, and analysis of specific tissues (i.e. bone, muscle, and soft connective tissues).