1 x 1-hour lecture-2 weekly
1 x 2-hour lecture-1 weekly
1 x 2-hour tutorial weekly
3 x 2-hour practicals per semester
Enrolment not permitted
ENGR2732 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Mathematics (vectors, introductory calculus) such as that obtained in MATH1121 Mathematics 1A and basic understanding of material properties (e.g. stress/strain, modulus) such as that obtained in ENGR1722 Engineering Materials.
Topic description
Static and dynamic analysis of muscle and joint loads; structure, composition and material properties of bone, ligament and tendon, muscle, cartilage, intervertebral disc and their common clinical problems; anatomy and function of the hip, knee and spinal joints; total joint replacement/implants; mechanisms of implant failure and implant design considerations; gait analysis and kinematics; viscoelasticity; anisotropy; mechanical vs material properties.
Educational aims
This topic introduces students to the anatomy, structure and biomechanical function of bones, soft tissues, cartilage and joints. Students will understand the viscoelastic behaviour of biological materials as well as common problems that occur, how they are treated in terms of joint replacements/implants, why they fail and discuss design strategies for the next generation of implants. Students will also learn about the practical/experimental methods used to assess the material properties of biological tissues, as well as the limitations of these experiments and approaches to minimise them. A deeper level of understanding, critical thinking and problem solving will be developed in this GE version of the topic.
Expected learning outcomes
At the completion of the topic, students are expected to be able to:
  1. Understand and apply the general principles of joint biomechanics, and their function
  2. Understand the concepts and theory of viscoelasticity as it applies to soft tissues, cartilage, and bone
  3. Understand how artificial joints function and why they fail, as well as their limitations
  4. Understand emerging new technologies in the biomechanics field and appreciate the multi-disciplinary collaborative nature of biomechanics research
  5. Critically review the relevant literature and identify a clinical problem, and take the first steps towards formulating a research hypothesis and designing appropriate experimental methods/analytical models to test the hypothesis