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ES97E - Biomechanics

  • Module code: ES97E
  • Module name: Biomechanics
  • Department: School of Engineering
  • Credit: 15

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

TTo impart a firm understanding and knowledge of the principles of mechanics as applied to biomedical and biological systems, across the spectrum from single cell mechanics, tissue mechanics, contact and wear mechanics, through to analysis of human gait. The module will introduce fundamental principles involved in both experimental and analytical methods, and enable students to use such methods.

Principal learning outcomes

By the end of this module students will be able to:

  • Understand the core principles of biomechanics and be able to apply these principles to complex mechanical systems in biology and medicine
  • Have an advanced understanding of kinematics, and be able to determine key kinematic variables in human motion in a systematic fashion
  • Use state-of-the-art data capture, via a Gait Laboratory, to determine and analyse key kinematic and kinetic variables in human motion.
  • Have an advanced understanding of kinetics in human motion; be able to derive basic link-segment equations; and perform a kinetic analysis of reaction forces and moments in 3D
  • Understand the concepts of work, energy and power in human movement and how they relate to muscle function; be able to calculate linear and angular work and power; and be able to explain how to use body segment energies
  • Have a deep understanding of mechanical models in biological cells/tissues; be able to derive force-balance equations; and perform a systematic analysis of cell/tissue mechanics.
  • Understand and critically evaluate modern experimental techniques for the measurements of cell and tissue/mechanics; and be able to explain the working principles, merits and drawbacks of the techniques.
  • Have a theoretical understanding of the fundamentals of FEM for small displacement linear elastic analysis (statics and dynamics) and be able to set up a system of equations/boundary conditions for numerical solution.
  • Understand the non-linear finite element method and its applications to current problems in biomechanics through the ABACUS software package.