Biomechanics is a component of Encyclopedia of Physical Sciences, Engineering and Technology Resources in the global Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), which is an integrated compendium of twenty one Encyclopedias.
The enormous progress in the field of health sciences that has been achieved in the 19th and 20th centuries would have not been possible without the enabling interaction and support of sophisticated technologies that progressively gave rise to a new interdisciplinary field named alternatively as bioengineering or biomedical engineering. Although both terms are synonymous, the latter is less general since it limits the field of application to medicine and clinical practice, while the former covers semantically the whole field of interaction between life sciences and engineering, thus including also applications in biology, biochemistry or the many '-omics'. We use in this book the second, with more general meaning, recalling the very important relation between fundamental science and engineering. And this also recognizes the tremendous economic and social impacts of direct application of engineering in medicine that maintains the health industry as one with the fastest growth in the world economy.
Biomechanics, in particular, aims to explain and predict the mechanics of the different components of living beings, from molecules to organisms as well as to design, manufacture and use of any artificial device that interacts with the mechanics of living beings. It helps, therefore, to understand how living systems move, to characterize the interaction between forces and deformation along all spatial scales, to analyze the interaction between structural behavior and microstructure, with the very important particularity of dealing with adaptive systems, able to adapt their internal structure, size and geometry to the particular mechanical environment in which they develop their activity, to understand and predict alterations in the mechanical function due to injuries, diseases or pathologies and, finally, to propose methods of artificial intervention for functional diagnosis or recovery.
Biomechanics is today a very highly interdisciplinary subject that attracts the attention of engineers, mathematicians, physicists, chemists, material specialists, biologists, medical doctors, etc. They work in many different topics from a purely scientific objective to industrial applications and with an increasing arsenal of sophisticated modeling and experimental tools but always with the final objectives of better understanding the fundamentals of life and improve the quality of life of human beings. One purpose in this volume has been to present an overview of some of these many possible subjects in a self-contained way for a general audience.
This volume is aimed at the following major target audiences: University and College Students, Educators, Professional Practitioners, and Research Personnel.
M. Doblaré was born in Córdoba (Spain) in July, 1956. He got the degree of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at the University of Seville (Spain) in 1978 and PhD degree at the Polytechnique University in Madrid (Spain) in 1981. From 1978 to 1982 he was research assistant, when he got the position of assistant professor of Structural Mechanics. In 1984, he was appointed as full professor at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Zaragoza (Spain) where he still teaches. He has occupied the positions of head of the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering (1985-87), dean of the Faculty of Engineering (1993-96), Director of the Aragón Institute for Engineering Research (2002-07) and Scientific Director of the National Networking Center on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN) (2007-11). Currently, he is head of the research group on Structural Mechanics and Materials Modeling (GEMM) and Scientific Director of Abengoa Research. Prof. Doblaré has been elected as ordinary member of the Spanish Royal Academy of Engineering, the Royal Academy of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Natural Sciences of Zaragoza and the World Council of Biomechanics, and awarded with several distinctions including the Aragón Prize for excellence in research or the Doctorate “Honoris Causa” at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania). He was visiting scholar at the Universities of Southampton (Dept. of Civil Engineering-1981) and New York (Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences-1983) and visiting professor at Stanford University (Division of Applied Mechanics-1990). He is member of different national and international scientific associations and of the editorial boards of several high impact journals where he has published more than 200 papers. He has given plenary, semiplenary and invited lectures in many international congresses and research forums, being internationally recognized in the field of Biomechanics. Prof. Doblaré’s research interests are in computational solid mechanics with applications in structural integrity, biomechanics and mechanobiology, with special emphasis in hard and soft tissues modeling, interface behavior and interaction tissue-biomaterial, mechanobiological processes like bone remodeling, bone and wound healing, bone osteointegration or morphogenesis and, finally, tissue engineering.
J. Merodio gained his first degree in Mechanical Engineering at Universidad del País Vasco, Spain. He completed his PhD in Engineering Mechanics and a MS in Applied Mathematics at Michigan State University, USA. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Continuum Mechanics and Structures at Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain. His main research interests are in nonlinear elasticity theory, with particular application to the mechanics of soft biological tissues, instability phenomena as well as mathematical analysis of constitutive models. He has been co-editor of the Continuum Mechanics volume for the EOLSS-UNESCO encyclopedia. He has delivered a solid intellectual contribution to the field of continuum mechanics, evidenced by a steady stream of archival publications as well as by regular invitations to present his work at conferences and to contribute to different books. He has organized several international conferences and international courses for researchers in this area of work at several International Centers. He is in the editorial board of different journals in the broad area of Theoretical Mechanics and has served as guest editor for different international journals