Biomechanics of Soft and Hard Tissues

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Applied Biosciences and Bioengineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 4365

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Head of the Laboratory of Bio-Inspired Nanomechanics “G.M. Pugno”, Department of Structural, Geotechnical and Building Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, 10129 Turin, Italy
Interests: structural dynamics, structural health monitoring; machine learning; nonlinear dynamics; signal processing; structural engineering; vibration analysis; biomechanics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy
2. Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy
3. Centre for Mechanics of Biological Materials, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy
Interests: computational biomechanics of soft tissues; gastric mechanics; mechanical characterization of biological materials; tribology and friction phenomena
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The number of biomechanical studies being carried out has drastically increased in recent years, demonstrating the importance of this discipline, which is continuously expanding. From the molecular to the system level, mechanical stimuli are important regulators for the development of organs and tissues, their growth and connected processes such as remodeling, regeneration or disease. For these reasons, the analysis of the mechanical behavior of biological tissues and biomaterials plays a fundamental role in many applications, such as the interaction between tissues and medical devices, or their biocompatibility and influence in surgical tissues’ repair. Moreover, experimental investigations of the mechanical behavior of tissues combined with computational models could be used as a further support to clinical trials and surgical procedures.

Thus, research activities in this area are crucial due to the development of innovative biomaterials for new fields of application, along with the emergence of advanced computational techniques to support the experimental procedures.

This Special Issue, entitled “Biomechanics of Soft and Hard Tissues”, aims to collect high-quality contributions that focus on the investigation of the mechanical characterization and response of biological tissues and biomaterials from both experimental and/or computational points of view. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Experimental biomechanics;
  • Computational biomechanics;
  • Tissue engineering;
  • Mechanics of biomaterials;
  • Effect of damage, trauma and aging on biological tissue mechanics;
  • Computer-assisted surgery;
  • Computational biomechanics for surgery;
  • Biorobotics.

Dr. Cecilia Surace
Dr. Alice Berardo
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • biological tissue
  • biomaterials
  • medical devices
  • biomechanics
  • experimental analysis
  • computational biomechanics

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 10444 KiB  
Article
Mechanical Characterization of the Male Lower Urinary Tract: Comparison among Soft Tissues from the Same Human Case Study
by Alice Berardo, Maria Vittoria Mascolini, Chiara Giulia Fontanella, Martina Contran, Martina Todesco, Andrea Porzionato, Veronica Macchi, Raffaele De Caro, Rafael Boscolo-Berto and Emanuele Luigi Carniel
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(4), 1357; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14041357 - 7 Feb 2024
Viewed by 733
Abstract
Background: Nowadays, a challenging task concerns the biomechanical study of the human lower urinary tract (LUT) due to the variety of its tissues and the low availability of samples. Methods: This work attempted to further extend the knowledge through a comprehensive mechanical characterization [...] Read more.
Background: Nowadays, a challenging task concerns the biomechanical study of the human lower urinary tract (LUT) due to the variety of its tissues and the low availability of samples. Methods: This work attempted to further extend the knowledge through a comprehensive mechanical characterization of the male LUT by considering numerous tissues harvested from the same cadaver, including some never studied before. Samples of the bladder, urethra, prostate, Buck’s fascia and tunica albuginea related to corpora cavernosa were considered and distinguished according to testing direction, specimen conformation and anatomical region. Uniaxial tensile and indentation tests were performed and ad hoc protocols were developed. Results: The tissues showed a non-linear and viscoelastic response but different mechanical properties due to their specific functionality and microstructural configuration. Tunica albuginea longitudinally displayed the highest stiffness (12.77 MPa), while the prostate transversally had the lowest one (0.66 MPa). The minimum stress relaxation degree (65.74%) was reached by the tunica albuginea and the maximum (88.55%) by the bladder. The prostate elastic modulus was shown to vary according to the presence of pathological changes at the microstructure. Conclusions: This is the first experimental work that considers the mechanical evaluation of the LUT tissues in relation to the same subject, setting the basis for future developments by expanding the sample population and for the development of effective in silico models to improve the solutions for most LUT pathologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics of Soft and Hard Tissues)
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16 pages, 3447 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Surrogate Models for Research on Resistance and Deformation of Repairs of the Human Meniscal Roots: Porcine or Older Human Models?
by Alejandro Peña-Trabalon, Ana Perez-Blanca, Salvador Moreno-Vegas, M. Belen Estebanez-Campos and Maria Prado-Novoa
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(2), 670; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14020670 - 12 Jan 2024
Viewed by 530
Abstract
Meniscal root repair is not routinely recommended for patients over 75 years old, yet surrogate age-unrestricted human or porcine models are used for its evaluation. This study assesses the suitability of older human or porcine meniscus models for in vitro testing of the [...] Read more.
Meniscal root repair is not routinely recommended for patients over 75 years old, yet surrogate age-unrestricted human or porcine models are used for its evaluation. This study assesses the suitability of older human or porcine meniscus models for in vitro testing of the sutured meniscal horn. Three groups of menisci underwent a load-to-failure test with continuous monitoring of the traction force and deformation around the suture: human < 75 years, human ≥ 75 years, and porcine. Both surrogate models were compared to the younger group. The porcine group exhibited a 172.1%-higher traction force before tearing (p < 0.001) and a 174.1%-higher ultimate force (p < 0.001), without there being differences between the human groups. At tissue level, the older group had a 28.7%-lower cut-out stress (p = 0.012) and the porcine group had a 57.2%-higher stress (p < 0.001). Regarding elasticity at the sutured area, a 48.1%-greater deformation rate was observed in the older group (p < 0.001), without difference for the porcine group. In conclusion, neither the porcine nor the older human model demonstrated a clear advantage as a surrogate model for young human sutured meniscal horns. The older human meniscus is preferable for resistance at the specimen level, while the porcine model better represents deformation in the sutured zone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics of Soft and Hard Tissues)
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16 pages, 4271 KiB  
Article
Designing a Synthetic 3D-Printed Knee Cartilage: FEA Model, Micro-Structure and Mechanical Characteristics
by Gianmarco Dolino, Damiano Coato, Riccardo Forni, Gabriele Boretti, Federica Kiyomi Ciliberti and Paolo Gargiulo
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(1), 331; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14010331 - 29 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1097
Abstract
Articular cartilage morphology and composition are essential factors in joint biomechanics, and their alteration is a crucial aspect of osteoarthritis (OA), a prevalent disease that causes pain and functional loss. This research focuses on developing patient-specific synthetic cartilage using innovative Digital Anatomy polymers. [...] Read more.
Articular cartilage morphology and composition are essential factors in joint biomechanics, and their alteration is a crucial aspect of osteoarthritis (OA), a prevalent disease that causes pain and functional loss. This research focuses on developing patient-specific synthetic cartilage using innovative Digital Anatomy polymers. The objectives include investigating the morphology, characterizing the mechanical properties, and replicating the architecture of natural cartilage. This approach offers potential alternatives to traditional manufacturing methods and reduces the need for expensive in vivo experiments. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) validates a novel patient-specific measurement setup. It provides insights into the role of morphology in the distribution of stress and strain within cartilage. CAD design is also utilized to create standardized fiber-reinforced samples that mimic the layered micro-architecture of natural cartilage, allowing for the study of their contribution to the overall mechanical properties. The results demonstrate that 3D-printed polymers can effectively replicate the elastic properties of cartilage. The proposed patient-specific simulator produces reliable results, which have been validated through FEM analysis. While the recreated microstructure closely resembles biological cartilage samples, the elastic properties are slightly underestimated. In conclusion, designing an in silico knee joint is a feasible approach that offers numerous advantages for further development. The Young’s modulus values of our synthetic cartilage modules range from 2.43 MPa to 7.24 MPa, within the range reported in the literature. Moreover, Young´s modulus at the micro level shows the differences between surface 1.74 MPa and internal substrate 1.83 MPa depending on the fiber orientation. Finally, our model proves to be mechanically and morphologically accurate at both the macro and micro levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics of Soft and Hard Tissues)
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22 pages, 11453 KiB  
Article
Defining the URCOTEBS System as a Unilateral Radiographic–Stochastic Model for the Complementary States (Health/Disease) of the D-Organ and Middle-Ear Mucosa
by Marian Rădulescu, Adela-Ioana Mocanu, Alexandra-Cristina Neagu, Mihai-Adrian Schipor and Horia Mocanu
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(23), 12861; https://doi.org/10.3390/app132312861 - 30 Nov 2023
Viewed by 531
Abstract
The middle ear (ME) is a notoriously complicated anatomic structure, geometrically arranged as irregular interlinked spheroidal and polyhedric cavities dug inside the temporal bone (TB). The bony walls of these cavities are radiopaque and form the bony support for the D-Organ that we [...] Read more.
The middle ear (ME) is a notoriously complicated anatomic structure, geometrically arranged as irregular interlinked spheroidal and polyhedric cavities dug inside the temporal bone (TB). The bony walls of these cavities are radiopaque and form the bony support for the D-Organ that we have previously defined as corresponding to the epithelium covering the Antrum walls (belonging to the central cavities of the middle ear) and the walls of mastoid and petrous cavities (the peripheral cavities of the ME). The aim of the study is to define an exact method for categorizing a Unilateral Radiographic COnformation of the TEmporal Bone in Schuller’s projection (URCOTEBS) under one of the four defined conformations and using it for practical everyday clinical purposes. The conclusion is that a radiograph in Schuller’s projection is a concrete way of storing precise information on the status (health/disease) of the D-Organ and therefore of the ME mucosa. These data is encoded within the image and we aim to decode and translate them into clinical data. The URCOTEBS results in an overlapping projection of all bony cavities that comprise the General Endo-temporal Bony Cavity Complex onto the same plain (film). This characteristic of classical film imaging constitutes an advantage from the multiple CT sections, as far as our proposed approach goes, because the set of stochastic information is found in the whole of the cavities taken as one on the same image, to which the measurement gauges can be easily applied. The decoding must be performed accordingly, and this occurs much faster with conventional radiography. This image of the TB in Schuller’s projection is a mirror that reflects the status of the ME mucosa, and URCOTEBS encodes the physiological state of the D-Organ. The present work gives, through stochastic methods, the key to decoding this information into clinical language. In ascending order of their projection areas (projection of their Variable Geometry Peripheral Endo-temporal Bony Cavity Complex) we can recognize URCOTEBS_d, URCOTEBS_c, URCOTEBS_b, and URCOTEBS_a. The corresponding Greek letter designates the state of disease for each of these conformations: URCOTEBS_δ, URCOTEBS_γ, URCOTEBS_β, URCOTEBS_α, and the capital letters define their state of health: URCOTEBS_D, URCOTEBS_C, URCOTEBS_B, URCOTEBS_A. URCOTEBS_d is the smallest unilateral radiographic conformation of the TB in Schuller’s projection and is, by definition, a radiographic image of the state of disease of the D-Organ. The probability of disease in URCOTEBS_d is 100%. This radiographic system is readily available and clinically usable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics of Soft and Hard Tissues)
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Review

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22 pages, 1321 KiB  
Review
Mechanical Stapling Devices for Soft Tissue Repair: A Review of Commercially Available Linear, Linear Cutting, and Circular Staplers
by Vito Burgio, Janira Bei, Mariana Rodriguez Reinoso, Marco Civera, Oliver Grimaldo Ruiz, Cecilia Surace and Nicola M. Pugno
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(6), 2486; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14062486 - 15 Mar 2024
Viewed by 1023
Abstract
Stapling devices have emerged as a widespread and effective option for soft tissue surgery, offering promising outcomes for patients by reducing complication rates and surgery time. This review aims to provide an exhaustive analysis of commercially available alternatives in the market, incorporating insights [...] Read more.
Stapling devices have emerged as a widespread and effective option for soft tissue surgery, offering promising outcomes for patients by reducing complication rates and surgery time. This review aims to provide an exhaustive analysis of commercially available alternatives in the market, incorporating insights from market analysis, patent landscape, and the existing literature. The main focus lies in identifying and evaluating the most widely adopted and innovative stapling devices, including linear, linear cutting, circular, and powered staplers. In addition, this review delves into the realm of bioabsorbable staples, exploring the materials utilized and the surgical fields where these advanced staples find applications. To facilitate easy comprehension, the gathered information is presented in tables, highlighting the essential parameters for each stapling device. This comprehensive research about stapling devices is intended to aid healthcare practitioners and researchers in making informed decisions when choosing the most appropriate instrument for specific surgical procedures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biomechanics of Soft and Hard Tissues)
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