A point often missed is that bodies are not just biological systems, but are also mechanical systems. The skeleton is a framework upon which collections of simple motors, muscle cells, expand and relax in a highly organized fashion to create movement. Tendons, ligaments, and cartilage serve as connectors and braces to the system, while the brain serves as the central computer to control the complex and fantastic machine that is the body.
Biomechanics is the study of the mechanical aspects of living organisms. From studying the strengths and weaknesses of individual components, such as bones, to examining how groups of tissues and implants work together, biomechanical researchers are improving not only our understanding of the body, but also the design of devices needed to repair the body. Nor will these discoveries be the inert implants of the past. Researchers at the Weldon School are developing innovative implants that can monitor not only themselves, but the surrounding body tissues so that changes can be identified and any corrective actions required initiated.
The interdisciplinary team at the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering is building on a solid foundation of accomplishment. From studies that can detect microfractures in bones before they can evolve into a problem, to advanced implants that monitor themselves and the environment around them, researchers are developing the knowledge and clinical treatments that will change the way we view and repair the body.