Computational modelling of mechanical behavior of biological tissues for biomedical applications

Computational modelling of biomedical applications has gained significant momentum in recent years, in part to meet demands related to recent technical advancements in manufacturing of personalized biomedical equipment. However, our understanding of mechanics of biological tissues, their properties and performance as well as their interaction with biomedical equipment still remains limited. This is a result of multiple factors, most important being a hierarchical and heterogeneous nature of biological tissues, non-trivial loading and environmental conditions to which they are exposed as well as multi-disciplinary nature of the systems involved. This paper presents an overview of the latest research activities and achievements in the area of mechanics of biomaterials and tissues at Loughborough University, UK. It covers various types of biological materials and tissues - both hard (bones) and soft (muscles, etc.) - that have been studied in previous studies [1-4] at various spatial and temporal domains. These studies laid a foundation for development and implementation of advanced computational modelling of mechanics of these biological tissues at different stages (healthy, diseased and traumatic conditions) and for several areas of biomedical applications (injury prevention, wound care and rehabilitation). Performed numerical simulations, on the one hand, elucidate processes of deformation of biological tissues and, on the other hand, provide solutions for design and optimization of medical and rehabilitation procedures and devices. This work underpins a unique partnership between engineers, clinics and rehabilitation centres in UK aiming to transfer the latest scientific and technological advancements into personalized biomedical applications using computational schemes and tools.