Introduction to Solid Biomechanics

ENG BE 420

Many vital physiological functions including locomotion, respiration, circulation, and mechanotransduction are mechanical in nature and are linked to forces and deformation. Mechanics is also critical for development of medical devices and instruments. The main goal of this course is to acquaint students with concepts of stress, strain, constitutive laws and their applications to biomechanics of cells and tissues. The focus will be on theoretical developments. The first part of the course is focused on problems of mechanics of deformable solids including extension, bending, buckling and torsion of beams, as well as the concept of cellular tensegrity. The second, and the greater part of the course is focused on the basic concepts of the theory of elasticity. Topics include: vector and tensor algebra and calculus, kinematics of deformation, stress analysis, constitutive equations. In addition to the linear (Hookean) elasticity, non-linear elasticity is also presented to describe mechanical behavior of biological tissues and cells. The last chapter is devoted to basic concepts of linear viscoelasticity, including stress relaxation, creep and hysteresis. Illustrative examples from tissue and cell biomechanics will be given where appropriate. The course will prepare students for advanced courses in traditional fields of solid mechanics (elasticity, plasticity, viscoelasticity, poroelasticity), finite element analysis, as well as emerging fields (mechanobiology, computational mechanics, nanotechnology, biotechnology). Design elements will be included in projects. 4 cr

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