Biomechanics: Material Properties and Medical Applications

Computational biomechanical modeling has emerged as an integral part of the advancement of a number of medical applications, including image guided radiotherapy and surgery, brachytherapy, diagnostics, robotic surgery, image segmentation, and surgery training simulator. Therefore, realistic and accurate characterization of mechanical properties of soft tissues is required. Most of the biomechanical properties of soft tissues are based on ex vivo samples and, in many cases, animal tissues. This research theme focuses on the development of a new minimally invasive technique to measure in vivo, and patient-specific mechanical properties of tissues.

Integration of Imaging and Mechanics for Material Characterization

The proposed research will target the mechanical characterization of engineering materials using a new approach that merges imaging, mechanics and numerical modeling. This innovative approach will shift the mechanical characterization of materials from the conventional “overall” performance to a “components-based” evaluation. It will also transfer conventional visual image inspection to a detailed image-based mechanical analysis with stress distribution, and deformation to identify failure initiation and the role of each component on carrying the applied load.

Composite Materials: Mechanics and Applications

The need to repair or replace aging infrastructure has intensified as most of our infrastructure has reached its design lifespan limit that intensifies. This need will further increase as continuously increasing traffic volume and loads necessitate the strengthening of critical structures. These issues highlight the critical necessity for new materials and innovative methods to evaluate and delay structural materials failure. The non-corrosive, high strength, and light weight properties of composite materials, such as fiber reinforced polymer (FRP), make them an optimal alternative to conventional structural materials. The mechanism of full integration of composite materials into structures is the core element of this research theme.