Applied Mechanics department
Materials, surfaces, processes & structures

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BiomecaT Team

Biomechanics of Human Soft Tissues


The activities of our BiomecaT team contribute to the FEMTO-ST investigations aimed to meet current scientific and technological challenges in the field of health and life sciences. The team’s biomechanical activities are directed toward soft tissues and combine experimental trials, modeling and digital simulations with emphasize on in vivo and ex vivo studies. Researches are carried out in close partnership with hospital practitioners who are the final users of the team’s work but also with INRS for safety-at-work issues. The team systematically takes into account the highly individualized character of living constituents in order to propose personalized solutions.

GOALS and research areas

The BiomecaT team focuses on different types of soft tissues; i.e. the human skin, the perinee and arteries. The BiomecaT team has acquired a vast experience in the mechanical behavior of human skin. Presenting wide variability, both intra- and inter-individually, the skin mechanical properties have a strong impact on the dynamics of healing, particularly following surgery. Investigations concerns both healthy skin (surgery planning, extreme extension involved by birth, aesthetic and cosmetic issues) and pathologic skin (particularly keloid scars). The recording of experimental data by means of commercial or homemade devices allows the feeding of numerical models of skin behavior characterization. Computations aim to best integrate uncertainty sources to obtain as reliable results as possible with quantified and guaranteed error tolerances. These activities attempt to best answer biomedical issues raised by clinicians who are systematically associated to our researches. The numerical identification on mechanical parameter of healthy and pathological tissues is to identify preferred directions of propagation of tissue remodeling dysfunction.

Investigations on arteries are carried out in collaboration with INRS in Nancy and deal with the progressive closing of arteries induced by prolonged exposure to high frequency vibrations (>80Hz) emitted by diverse manual rotative tools. This problematics of health-at-work is still poorly understood and contribute to the pathogenesis of Raynaud's phenomenom that may result in the amputation of fingers. Our approach combines biological and mechanical by modelling the multi-physics and multiscale interactions regulating cell proliferation responsible for the closing of the arteries. These computations are complemented and adjusted thanks to in vitro biological experiments.  

Stresses on the perineum in women during childbirth cause large deformations which can lead to rupture. Work is being carried out in close collaboration with the CHRU in Besançon (gynecology-obstetrics department), combining experiments in the delivery room (as part of a clinical trial) and numerical modeling of strain fields undergone by the perineum in order to understand the mechanisms of perineal tears and prevent them.


>  Modelling of the mechanical behaviour of complex living structures (human skin, arteries, abdominal cavity). Computation – Experiment feedback. Modelling close to clinical situations; Quantitative estimation of computation errors.

> Modelling of mechanical-biological interactions from cellular to tissue scales

> Open-source software development with automatic optimization of parameters, minimization and quantification of numerical errors

>  Development of instrumental devices dedicated to the exploration of human skin mechanical properties in vivo.

Implementing our work

The BiomecaT team contributes to and benefits from multidisciplinary scientific expertise of the Applied Mechanics Department, the FEMTO-ST Institute and their measurement platforms, computation resources and technological facilities. The BiomecaT team maintains strong relations with biologists, clinicians and hospital practitioners, notably through the Clinical Investigation Centre for Innovative Technology (Inserm CIT808) at Besançon Hospital. Advanced mechanical issues are addressed with colleagues from Laboratoire de Mathematiques de Besançon, Institut de Mathématiques de Bourgogne and Luxembourg University in addition to the close partnership with INRS on arteries issues and Segula Technologies Company.

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