On the prospect of patient-specific biomechanics without patient-specific properties of tissues

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Abstract

This paper presents main theses of two keynote lectures delivered at Euromech Colloquium "Advanced experimental approaches and inverse problems in tissue biomechanics" held in Saint Etienne in June 2012. We are witnessing an advent of patient-specific biomechanics that will bring in the future personalized treatments to sufferers all over the world. It is the current task of biomechanists to devise methods for clinically-relevant patient-specific modeling. One of the obstacles standing before the biomechanics community is the difficulty in obtaining patient-specific properties of tissues to be used in biomechanical models. We postulate that focusing on reformulating computational mechanics problems in such a way that the results are weakly sensitive to the variation in mechanical properties of simulated continua is more likely to bear fruit in near future. We consider two types of problems: (i) displacement-zero traction problems whose solutions in displacements are weakly sensitive to mechanical properties of the considered continuum; and (ii) problems that are approximately statically determinate and therefore their solutions in stresses are also weakly sensitive to mechanical properties of constituents. We demonstrate that the kinematically loaded biomechanical models of the first type are applicable in the field of image-guided surgery where the current, intraoperative configuration of a soft organ is of critical importance. We show that sac-like membranes, which are prototypes of many thin-walled biological organs, are approximately statically determinate and therefore useful solutions for wall stress can be obtained without the knowledge of the wall's properties. We demonstrate the clinical applicability and effectiveness of the proposed methods using examples from modeling neurosurgery and intracranial aneurysms. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-166
JournalJournal of The Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials
Volume27
Early online date9 Feb 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013

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