The tissues in the human body that builds up the musculoskeletal system (i.e. bone, articular cartilage, ligaments and tendons) are largely mechanical in nature and are critical for our health. Their mechanical competence are affected by their composition-structure-function relationship.
This course is structured around solid mechanics of materials and their application to the study of mechanical behavior of skeletal tissues, bones, cartilage, bone-implant systems, joints and biomaterials. Topics include: mechanical behavior of tissues (anisotropy, viscoelasticity, fracture and fatigue) with emphasis on the role of the microstructure of these tissues; structural properties of whole bones and implants (composite and asymmetric beam theories); and mechanical function of joints (contact mechanics, lubrication and wear). The role of mechanobiology in the evolution and development of the musculoskeletal system is described, as well as its influence during tissue repair, remodeling and degeneration.
The course describes and applies the available methods to assess and understand these tissues both from an experimental and numerical approach, and how to use experimental data to develop theoretical models, as well as on using the knowledge gained to address common health related problems related to aging, disease and injury. The design and function of implants and prosthesis are also described and coupled to the mechanics and biology of the system.