BioHIT Talk: Multi-scale modeling and mechanical properties of skeletal muscles

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The next BioHIT talk will take place in the II&T Lecture Room on Wednesday 6 March, at 14:00.

Invited speaker Dr. Leonidas Spyrou will give a talk on Multi-scale modeling and mechanical properties of skeletal muscles.

Skeletal muscles have the ability to produce force by active contraction, which makes them distinct from other biological tissues. The physiological functioning of skeletal muscles crucially depends on their mechanical properties and thus state-of-the-art research and treatment of muscle tissues require highly accurate and efficient methods for describing their mechanical behavior and characterizing their mechanical response. These tissues have a complex hierarchical structure consisting of about 90-99% force-producing fibers embedded in a connective tissue matrix. Regardless of their microstructural organization, both muscle fibers and connective tissue determine the overall mechanical properties of a muscle through their functional cooperation. However, muscle diseases, muscle injuries, and immobilization cause significant changes in the microstructural characteristics of a muscle tissue, e.g. fibrosis, fat infiltration, which, in turn, affect the macroscopic material behavior of the tissue. Unlike the current modeling of muscle tissues, the development of finite-strain nonlinear mechanical models is required which incorporate tissue’s microstructural information, i.e. the distinct contributions of the muscle constituents, such as their material properties, their geometrical characteristics, and their volume fractions in the tissue. We present a novel multi-scale modeling framework for skeletal muscles based on analytical homogenization methods and full-field finite element simulations in order to study the mechanical muscle response at finite strains under three-dimensional loading conditions.

Speaker Bio:

Dr. Leonidas Spyrou is a Researcher C’ on the field of Biomechanics at CERTH/IBO. He studied at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of University of Thessaly, Greece, where he obtained his Diploma, his M.Sc. with specialization in Mechanics, Materials, and Manufacturing processes, and his Ph.D. in the area of Computational Biomechanics. His main research interests are in the field of computational and applied mechanics with an emphasis on the biomechanics of biological tissues and the investigation of the mechanical characteristics of medical devices. Also, he has over 15 years of experience in advanced computational analysis of structures and simulation of manufacturing processes. He is the author of more than 25 scientific publications in refereed international journals and conferences and holder of an international design patent. He has been involved in more than 10 EU, National and industrial funded research projects. He serves as a reviewer for several scientific journals and conferences. He is the Vice-President of the Hellenic Society of Biomechanics (2019-2020).

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