505 A Multidisciplinary Approach to Computational Biomechanics

Dinesh Pai, University of British Columbia
Shinjiro Sueda, Texas A&M University
Eftychios Sifakis, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Modeling the complexities of human motion and interaction with the environment is an ongoing challenge in computational mechanics and is critical to a wide variety of application areas, including ergonomics, surgical planning, robotics, haptics, sports, and animation. To properly model human motion, numerous phenomena at many different scales must be considered: for example, the deformation of the skin and flesh during contact, the stretching of the tendon and its energy storage during muscle contraction, the stabilizing work of ligaments during joint flexion/extension, and the non-trivial kinematics of joints. These biomechanical phenomena are challenging to model computationally, in part because biomechanical tissues have a wide range of material and inertial properties, often resulting in numerical systems that are nonlinear, highly stiff, and with a high number of degrees of freedom. By addressing these challenges, we hope to enable the design and analysis of predictive, robust, and efficient computational methods for biomechanical simulations. We aim to bring researchers and practitioners from various fields together to assess the different (but overlapping) goals of their respective research agendas, identify common technical and conceptual challenges, and consider applications across disciplines. Even though biomechanics is multidisciplinary by nature, spanning biology, biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer science, and mathematics, these disparate groups have evolved independently, often working without reference to each other’s work. Thus, we expect this mini-symposium to forge new interdisciplinary links and to enrich existing collaborative efforts between researchers and practitioners. Potential topics include: (1) Collision, contact, and friction between soft tissues, skeleton, and the environment; (2) Novel discretizations and integration schemes for elasticity problems in biomechanics; and (3) Computational systems, programs, applications, and frameworks for biomechanics. Towards these objectives, we invite experimentalists and theorists in biomechanics and related areas. We hope to produce insights and applications that will lead to accurate and reliable computational tools beyond those currently serving today’s scientific and industrial applications.