Biomechanics

Centre for BioSystems Science and Engineering

Mechanical engineers and biologists in BSSE are working together in collaborative research and in training students to become adept in both areas. The current research themes in these efforts in BSSE are better characterized as biomechanics (application of mechanics to understand living systems) rather than mechano-biology (studies to understand the effects of mechanical stimuli applied on the living entities). The difference is subtle and debatable. Current projects include biomechanics of breast cancer cells and liver cells, and mechanics of motor learning.

Prof. Ashitava Ghosal and Prof. Aditya Murthy are investigating what role redundancy in human arm influences motor learning. It is a combination of kinematics and motor-learning experiments whose results are interpreted from the neurological perspectives. Prof. G. K. Ananthasuresh and Prof. Saumitra Das have an ongoing project in which the mechanical response of hypatocytes is changed presumably because of the action of viral proteins. Prof. Namrata Gundiah and Prof. P. Kondaiah are looking into the interplay between mechanics and biological response of cancer cells.

Mechanical engineers working on cells, tissues, and general biomechanics problems with biology researchers are also developing the required tools themselves rather than limiting themselves to what is available commercially and used extensively in biology laboratories. Examples include a miniature biorector, a viscometer, and a setup for conducting neuroengineering experiments.

BSSE offers a course on Mechanics of Biomaterials to familiarize students with basics in biomechanics.