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Jos Vander Sloten
08-04-1996, 07:57 PM
Announcement of Open Forum during ESB conference (Leuven, August 28-31,=
1996)

During the 10th Conference of the European Society of Biomechanics an Open
Forum will be organised to discuss the past achievements and the future
developments of biomechanics research. It takes place in Leuven on August
30th, 2 pm until 3.30 pm CET. A panel consisting of R. Huiskes, P. Walker,
K. De Groot, J. Kenwright, E. Schneider, F. Burny, N. Westerhof will be
present in Leuven. Via videoconferencing facilities there will be
interventions by M.H. Pope (USA), B. Nigg (Canada) and F. Kajiya (Japan).
The discussions are moderated by G. Van der Perre. This event is
broadcasted by satellite over Europe.

The Open Forum will be recorded on tape and will be available for sale
afterwards. For all practical questions please contact :
Ms. Annemie Boonen, EuroPACE2000
Celestijnenlaan 200A
B-3001 Heverlee (Belgium)
tel. +32 16 327573, fax. +32 16 327995
Email info@europace.be

OPEN FORUM ESB96
THE BIOMECHANICS CHALLENGE

This text summarizes some questions and statements (often controversary) to
be used as a basis for discussion during the Open Forum.

Topic 1 : How do we define biomechanics

=B7 Biomechanics is a study of the mechanical factors acting on biological
organisms, or on artificial materials or components interfacing with
biological organisms, and the response of biological systems to those
mechanical factors.
=B7 Biomechanics deals with the application of mechanical engineering
technology to biological systems and should as such have a broad definition.
The use of CAD and CAM technology in the design and manufacturing of
implants and also in computer assisted bone preparation should also be
considered as biomechanics (biomechanical engineering?).

Topic 2 : Achievements so far

=B7 Do the achievements of biomechanical research over the past twenty years
result from basic research, or are they the result of simplifications made
by medical practices, physiotherapists, sportsmen and industry?
=B7 Does biomechanics have to be highly sophisticated science? Can=92t we
expect more from classical analyses like those made by Pauwels, Maquet,=
Kummer?
=B7 Improvements in design of artificial joints (a.o. pre-clinical testing
methods and surgical planning tools) are often mentioned as practical
applications which have emerged from biomechanics research. Can some
concrete examples be given of where those methods have actually been used in
the development of new implants. Have these methods been used as real
development tools or rather to find confirmations of design characteristics
which had been suggested based upon =91intuition=92 or experience?
=B7 When a sportshoe salesman makes a =91biomechanical analysis=92 prior to
recommending a shoe, should this be considered an achievement of
biomechanics? Is the justification of a new design of tennisrackets a use
or a misuse of biomechanics?

Topic 3 : The profile of biomechanics : the biomechanics challenge

=B7 We do not want to imply that we are =91Cinderella=92s=92, asking for
recognition. We foresee a major role for biomechanics in the future and the
area needs to receive increasing support from national and international
research programmes.
=B7 Is there an evolution in the attitude of industry (orthopaedics, dental,
cardiovascular, sports) versus biomechanical research : is there a real
interest or is biomechanical development and testing merely a sales=
argument?
=B7 Does biomechanics have to be more close to the biological reality due to
sophisticated experimental approaches, instead of incomplete numerical=
models?
=B7 Future biomechanics will feature an increase in multidisciplinarity :
cellular and biological engineering, robot and computer assistance in
orthopaedic surgery, biomaterials (tissue engineering). It will concentrate
more on the =91biological=92 part of bio-mechanics, whereas in the past the
emphasis was more on the =91mechanics=92.

=B7 Two key areas for future developments will be
- computer integrated engineering and production in hard-tissue related=
surgery
- biomechanics of biological cells and systems
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Jos VANDER SLOTEN Ph.D.
K.U.Leuven
Division of Biomechanics and Engineering Design
Celestijnenlaan 200A
B-3001 Heverlee (Belgium)
tel. +32 16 327099
fax. +32 16 327994
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