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Advances in Biomechanical




Biomechanical engineering is a bioengineering discipline,

which applies principles of mechanical engineering to

biological systems and stems from the scientific discipline
of biomechanics.
Main topics of interest are: Biomechanics
Artificial organs and prosthesis

Areas of application
The main areas of application of biomechanical

engineering are:Sports biomechanics

Prosthesis and bionics
Medical Applications

Sports Biomechanics
Sports biomechanics is a quantitative based study and analysis of

professional athletes and sports activities in general.It can be simply

described as the physics of sports. In this subfield of biomechanics the
laws of mechanics are applied in order to gain a greater understanding
of athletic performance through mathematical modeling,computer
simulation and measurement.

Tools and methods used

The various methods and tools used are:3D motion capture analysis
Force plates
Force transducers
Strain gauges
Surface EMG(electromyography)

3D Motion capture
It is the process of recording the movements of objects or people.The

performer or the athlete has to wear markers near each joint to identify
the motion by the positions or angles between the markers. Most
modern systems can extract the silhouette of the performer from the
background. Afterwards all joint angles are calculated by fitting in a
mathematic model into the silhouette.

Force plates
Force platforms or Force plates are measuring

instruments that measure the ground reaction forces

generated by a body standing on or moving across
them to quantify balance,gait and other parameters
of biomechanics.

Strain gauge
A strain gauge is a device used to measure
Strain on an object.the gauge is attached to
the object by a suitable adhesive,such as
Cyanoacrylate.As the object is deformed,the
foil is deformed,causing its electrical
resistance to change.The resistance change is
Related to strain by a quantity known as
the gauge factor.

Surface Electromyography
Electromyography is an electrodiagnostic medicine techique for
evaluating and recording the electrical activity produced by skeletal
muscles.An electromyograph detects the electric potential generated by
muscle cells when these cells are elctrically or neurologically
activated.The signals can be analyzed to detect medical
abnormalities,activation level or recruitment order,or to analyze the
biomechanics of human or animal movement.

Prosthesis and Bionics

A prosthesis is an artificial device that replaces a missing

body part,which may be lost through trauma,disease or

congenital conditions.
Bionics is the application of biological methods and systems
found in nature to the study and design of engineering
systems and modern technology.

Bionic limbs
Bionic limbs uses 3 extreme engineering interfaces:Mechanical-how the limbs are attached.
Dynamic-How they move like flesh and bone.
Electrical-how they communicate with the nervous

Biomechatronic Hand
It is an interdisciplinary field encompassing biology, neurosciences, mechanics,

electronics and robotics. Biomechatronic scientists attempt to make devices that interact
with human muscle, skeleton, and nervous systems with the goals of assisting or
enhancing human motor control that can be lost or impaired by trauma, disease or birth

Hand prototype

Fingered tip force analysis

final hand

Visual prosthesis
A visual prosthesis,often referred to as a bionic eye,is an experimental visual

device intended to restore functional vision in those suffering from partial or

total blindness.
The ability to give sight to a blind person via a bionic eye depends on the
circumstances surrounding the loss of sight. Candidates for visual prosthetic
implants find the procedure most successful if the optic nerve was developed
prior to the onset of blindness. Persons born with blindness may lack a fully
developed optical nerve,which typically develops prior to birth,though
neuroplasticity makes it possible for the nerve and sight to develop after

Biorobotics is a term that covers the fields of cybernetics,bionics and even genetic

engineering as a collective study.

Biorobots are being used to help train surgeons and dentists using virtual envirenments
that speed the learning process epiphanies. It is also being used to assist in actual
surgeries, allowing for more precise and less invasive interventions.
A biological brain grown from cultured neurons which were originally separated ,has been
developed as a neurological entity subsequently embodied within a robot body by Kevin
warwick and his team. The brain receives input from sensors on the robot body and the
resultant output from the brain provides the robot's only motor signals. The biological
brain is the only brain of the robot.

Forensic Applications
Biomechanical engineering is applied to forensic jobs such as accident

reconstruction,ballistics,production of personal productive

equipments,injury causation and slip,trip and fall accidents.
Accident Reconstruction: In accidents involving personal injury,
biomechanics can be used to reconstruct the accident. A biomechanical
accident reconstruction can be especially helpful in events that are
unwitnessed or in which witness testimony conflicts about the events
leading up to the injury.

Forensic applications
Ballistics: Ballistic trauma and damage result from the transfer of kinetic

energy from a projectile to the body or target, which depends on the firearm,
the load, the geometry of the projectile, and how the projectile interacts with
the target.biomechanical engineering reconstructs incidents involving injuries
from small arms and conducts research on specific terminal ballistics
performance or personal protection equipment for domestic, law enforcement,
and military applications.

Forensic Applications
Injury Causation: Many types of incidents, including low-speed vehicle impacts,

rapid elevator or escalator stops, and slips, trips and falls, result in injury claims
that may or may not be attributable to the incident. In order to determine whether
a claimed injury occurred as a result of a specific incident, biomechanical
engineering analyzes the mechanism required to cause the injury traumatically and
investigates whether that mechanism was present in the subject incident.
Common questions regarding injury causation can be answered through
How does the diagnosed pathology occur traumatically and under what loading
Was the necessary injury mechanism present in this accident?
Is the loading sufficient, relative to established tolerances, to produce significant
potential for injury?

Medical applications
Regenerative medicine:Regenerative medicine is a branch of translational

research in tissue engineering and deals with the process of

replacing,engineering or regenerating human cells,tissues or organs to restore
or establish normal function.
Tissue biomechanics: Mechanical forces play an important role in tissue
development and homeostasis. Our goal is to understand the response of cells
to mechanical signals and to use this knowledge to predict tissue behaviour and

Medical Applications:Cell mechanics

The elastic
modulus of
fibers is about
The tensile
strength is
around 100pN
Kishino & Yanagito. Nature. 1988

Theory of tensegrity proposes that a cell can be

considered as a stable structure of struts and ropes

Controversial due to failure to consider dynamic

properties of actin and tubulin.

Bioheat Transfer
Bioheat transfer is the study of heat transfer in biological

simpler terms,it is the study of how heat moves from one

compartment,be it within the body or external to the body to another
compartment in the body.bioheat transfer has its foundation in the
engineering discipline of heat transfer and is itself a subfield of
biomechanical engineering.

Conclusion and references

Biomechanical engineering is a new age engineering

which has immense applications in almost all aspects

of our daily lives and good scope for research.