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Multiscale modeling in computational biomechanics

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6 Author(s)
Merryn Tawhai ; Auckland Bioengineering Institute at the University of Auckland ; Jeff Bischoff ; Daniel Einstein ; Ahmet Erdemir
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Biomechanics is broadly defined as the scientific discipline that investigates the effects of forces acting on and within biological structures. The realm of biomechanics includes the circulatory and respiratory systems, tissue mechanics and mechanotransduction, and the musculoskeletal system and motor control. As in many other biological phenomena, many spatial scales are crossed by biomechanics research: intracellular, multicellular, and extracellular matrices; and tissue, organ, and multiorgan systems. It is well established that the effect of forces at higher scales influence behavior at lower scales and that lower-scale properties influence higher-scale response. However, computational methods that incorporate these interactions in biomechanics are relatively rare. In general, computational models that include representation of multiple spatial or temporal scales are loosely defined as multiscale. The fact that multiscale modeling is not well defined lends the term to a variety of scenarios within the computational physiology community. In biomechanics, multiscale modeling may mean establishing a hierarchical link between the spatial and temporal scales, while the output of a larger-scale system is passed through a finely detailed representation at a lower scale (e.g., body-level movement simulations that provide net joint loading for tissue-level stress analysis). In reality, multiscale modeling may require more intricate representation of interactions among scales. A concurrent simulation strategy is inevitable to adequately represent nonlinear associations that have been known for decades [1].

Published in:

IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 3 )