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Martha Jack
06-16-1998, 12:28 PM
SUMMARY: What can a biomechanist do?
Eleven (11) responses were received and discussion has wained to this
question:

Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 08:06:23 -0700
From: Martha Jack
To: BIOMCH-L@NIC.SURFNET.NL
Newsgroups: bit.listserv.biomch-l
Subject: What can a biomechanist do?

A few years ago a question was posed to the ISB membership via the
neweletter as to "What do we call ourselves?"

In that same vain, I would like to pose the question: "What can a
biomechanical engineer do?"

I will offer my analytical outline and you may contribute to the analysis.
A summary will be posted when discussion has ended.

BIOMECHANICS
-Sports Biomechanics
-Gait Lab and Analysis
-Orthopaedic Biomechanics:
Prosthetic design and analysis
Rehabilitation
Instrumentation design
-Industrial Biomechanics:
Ergonomics - evaluation, analysis
Safety analysis and Risk assessment
ADA interpretation
Architecture, Construction
-Forensic Biomechanics:
Vehicle crashworthiness
Failure investigation and reconstruction
Expert witness
BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, BIOENGINEERING
-Cardiac Rehabilitation
-Stress Testing
-Metabolic Measurement
-Research
-Rehabilitation
-Instrumentation Technician
__________________________________________________ ____________________
Martha Jack, Ph.D. :) E-mail: mjack@beta.tricity.wsu.edu
Biomechanical Engineer :) Voice: (509) 943-0043
___o P.O. Box 776 :) FAX: (509) 943-4642 ___o
_ \ A summary will be posted when discussion has ended.

As a microbiologist, I can't really contribute to this discussion, except
on an anecdotal basis (which is why I send this to you instead of the
list). I used to work with a fellow who was getting his PhD in
Bioengineering, whose research project was funded by the air force. He was
trying to develop a better helmet for fighter pilots - one that would
protect the pilot's head from the impacts with the plane's interior as a
result of the incredible g-forces, but would also maintains its own
integrity (unlike a motorcycle helmet that is designed to take the impact
by falling apart). I could not really find a spot on your list that this
seemed to fall under.

Candy Krepel
Surgical Microbiology Research Lab, Medical College of Wisconsin
ckrepel@post.its.mcw.edu
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(3) From Peter Meyer:
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 12:27:41 -0400 (EDT)
From: Peter Meyer
To: Martha Jack
Subject: Re: What can a biomechanist do?

I must disagree on you characterization of Biomedical Engineering.
Biomedical Engineering is simply the application of engineering principles
to medicine. There may be considerable overlap with Bioengineering, which
is properly defined as the application of engineering principles to
biology. Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering are often used
interchangeably, albeit incorrectly.

Biomedical Engineers are a found in all the categories you have assigned
to Biomechanists, as well as huge number of other fields such as
biorheology, cell mechanics, neural engineering, and biomolecular
engineering. The Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) can provide a
broader list although it is still incomplete.

Biomedical Engineers in biomechanics are distinguished from Biomechanists
in their training as engineers and their need for quantitative rather than
qualitative solutions. Conversely, a Biomechanist can be considered a
biomedical engineer to the extent that they apply engineering principles
to their work. Hence, our laboratory employs many researchers who hold
non-engineering degrees and yet are obviously Biomedical Engineers.

It is also important to note that your listing of biomechanical fields
neglects the microscopic: biorheology, tissue mechanics, cellular
mechanics, bio-thermodynamics, etc. These all fall under the proper
definition of Biomechanics.
__________________________________________________ _______________________
Peter F. Meyer 44 Cummington Street
Dept. of Biomedical Engineering Boston, MA 02215
NeuroMuscular Research Center (617) 353-9633 (617) 353-5737 Fax
Boston University pmeyer@bu.edu
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(4) From Douglas Chang:
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 09:56:39 -0700 (PDT)
From: Douglas Chang
To: mjack@BETA.TRICITY.WSU.EDU
Subject: Re: What can a biomechanist do?

Here are some areas that you can add to your list (culled from the
biomedical engineering department at USC)

Doug

http://www.usc.edu/dept/biomed/BMSR/Research/coreres.html
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(5) From Arnel Aguinaldo:
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 10:46:28 -0700
From: Arnel Aguinaldo
To: mjack@beta.tricity.wsu.edu
Subject: Your question...

Dear Dr. Martha Jack:

I believe your question is a valid one and definitely needs addressing.
The field of bioengineering has grown to be a very broad and innovative
field. Yet, it is often misunderstood and, sometimes, less "respected" -
for lack of a better word - than the other engineering disciplines (i.e.,
electrical, mechanical). I'll attempt to summarize what I feel is the
core identity of bioengineering and, specfically, biomechanical
engineering:

BIOENGINEERING - intergration of engineering and biomedical sciences with
the fundamental goal of understanding the relationships between tissue
structure and function, thus, improving the methods of prevention,
diagnosis, and treatment of diseases.

BIOMECHANICS - application of engineering principles towards biological
systems (Fung's definition).

The major areas of application cover a spectrum consisting of the
following levels (with examples):

Molecular - genetic engineering, electrophysiology
Cellular - hemodynamics, biophysics
Tissue - muscle mechanics, cardiac mechanics
Organismal - osteokinematics, arthrokinematics

All of these applications vary in some way depending on the external
practice (i.e., academic, industrial, forensic, sports, instrumentation,
etc.). Some people would say that biomechanical engineers study the
movements and forces acted on and by the various joints and parts of the
human body. Although this is true, I believe an understanding of the
biomechanics involved with the smaller levels of the above spectrum is
also
key in identifying what we do.

I hope this helps our little discussion. I, too, often find myself lost
for words in explaining this field to the next person, especially to
someone like my neighbor or grandma! A simple explanation is often the
best explanation...

Thanks much,

+=========================================+
Arnel Aguinaldo (aaguinaldo@abellabs.com)
Research Engineer
Abel Laboratories, Inc.
Institute for Biomedical Engineering, U.C. San Diego
+=========================================+
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(6) From Nat Ordway:
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 14:46:34 -0400
From: Nat Ordway
To: Martha Jack
Subject: Re: What can a biomechanist do?

A couple of other areas I was thinking of dealing with Fluid Mechanics:

Cardiac Biomechanics - Blood flow, heart valves, prosthetic hearts, etc
Pulmonary Biomechanics - Gas flow through airways, artificial lungs, etc.
Renal Biomechanics

Also, there is the emerging area of cellular biomechanics.

I'm a little confused by your question. You ask "what can a biomech eng
do?". There are certainly many "things" a biomech eng can do like go on to
medical school, law school (like patent law). So do you mean what
areas/topics does Biomechanics cover?

************************************
Nathaniel Ordway, MS, PE
Assistant Professor
Department of Orthopedic Surgery
SUNY Health Science Center
750 E. Adams St
Syracuse, New York 13210

mailto:ordwayn@hscsyr.edu
voice: (315) 464-6462
fax: (315) 464-6638
www: http://www.ec.hscsyr.edu/ortho/
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(7) From Hartmut Witte:
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 18:01:29 MET -1
From: Hartmut Witte
Reply-To: Hartmut.F.Witte@gmx.net
To: mjack@BETA.TRICITY.WSU.EDU
Subject: Re: What can a biomechanist do?

All the items you gave are applied biomechanics! What about functional
morphology (->anatomy, ->physiology, ->zoology), historically and still
nowadays the base of our common scientific home named "biomechanics"?

Hartmut Witte
__________________________________________________ _________

PD Dipl.-Ing. (mach.) Dr. med. (habil.) Hartmut Witte
Facharzt fuer Anatomie
DFG-Schwerpunktprogramm "Autonomes Laufen"
Institut fuer Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie
mit Phyletischem Museum
Erbertstrasse 1
D-07743 Jena

Hartmut.F.Witte@gmx.de

Fon ++49 3641 949 158 (university)
++49 3641 212 483 (D-07745 Jena, Ernst-Haeckel-Platz 1)
++49 2363 345 35 (D-45711 Datteln, Pestalozzistrasse 25)
++49 172 7951 255 (D2-handy)

Fax ++49 3641 949 142 (university)
++49 2363 35170 (on demand in Datteln)
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(8) From Alena Hagedorn:
Date: 27 May 1998 16:50:02 -0400
From: "Hagedorn, Alena "

To: IPM Return requested
Subject: Re: What can a biomechanist do?

Automotive safety - occupant biomechanics and crash test dummy design,
develop ment, evaluation

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(9) From Chris Kirtley:
Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 09:35:15 +0800
From: "Dr. Chris Kirtley (Kwok Kei Chi)"
To: Martha Jack
Subject: Re: What can a biomechanist do?

Dear Martha,

I work in a Department teaching physiotherapists, although I'm a medical
doctor with a PhD in bio-engineering. There was an abstract published a
few years ago which addresses the issue:

Pidcoe PE(1993) "The role of a bioengineer in an academic physical therapy
setting" Physical Therapy 73(6): S98

To be controversial, I would say that my role is to try to get
physiotherapists to understand just how extraordinarily complex human
movement really is!

Chris
--
Dr. Chris Kirtley MD PhD
Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hong Kong
Special Administrative Region of The People's Republic of China

Tel: +852 2766 6755 Fax: 2330 8656
http://www.polyu.edu.hk/~rs/kirt/index.htm

Clinical Gait Analysis: http://www.polyu.edu.hk/cga
Send subscribe/unsubscribe to listproc@info.curtin.edu.au
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(10) From Melissa Brown:
Date: Tue, 02 Jun 98 12:58:35
From: melissa_brown@collagen.com
To: mjack@beta.tricity.wsu.edu
Subject: Re: What can a biomechanist do?


I consider myself a biomedical engineer with a biomaterials/biomechanics
emphasis (BSME and MS Bioengineering). I have been developing resorbable
orthopedic implants (bone graft substitutes, suture anchors, therapies for
disc degeneration and osteoarthritis, etc.) for small/medium-sized
companies for the past 7 years. Among other things, I develop product
specifications and design/ run in vitro and in vivo tests (including
animal and cadaver models) for these implants.

Good luck on the survey. I look forward to your results!
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(12) From Martha Jack:
SUMMARY, RESULTS
Date: Tuesday, 16 June 1998

There were 11 responses in 3 weeks from May 27 through June 16. Besides
one person repeating a response, there was a response from another
newsgroup: WISENET.

Thanks to:
1)Kanshukan Rajarathnam Center for Research in Computational & Applied
Mechanics, Univ. of Cape Town Cape Town, South Africa
2)Candace Krepel Surgical Microbiology Research lab, Medical
College of Wisconsin Madison, Wisconin
3)Peter Meyer Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, Neuro Muscular
Research Center Boston Univ. Boston, MA
4)Douglas Chang U.C. San Diego
San Diego, CA
5)Arnel Aguinaldo Abel Laboratories, Inc., Institute for Biomedical
Engineering, U.C. San Diego San Diego, CA
6)Nat Ordway Dept. of Orthopedic Surgery, SUNY Health Science
Center Syracuse, NY
7)Hartmut Witte
Datteln, Germany
8)Alena Hagedorn Dept. of Transportation, National Highway
Transportation Safety Administration USA
9)Chris Kirtley Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hong Kong
Polytechnic University Hong Kong and China
10)Melissa Brown Collagen Corporation
USA

Based on these responses, I would make additions to the analytical outline
that would include
Fluid Biofluids Research
Impact Safety
Microscopic - biorheology, tissue mechanics, cellular mechanics,
biothermodynamics
Modeling and simulation methodologies of complex biomedical systmes
Nonlinear, nonstationary, sparse data and feedback systems
Physiological control
Neural information processing, learning and memory
Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases
Application of engineering principles
Molecular - genetic engineering, electrophysiology
Cellular - hemodynamics, biophysics
Tissue - muscle mechanics, cardiac mechanics
Organismal - osteokinematics, arthrokinematics
Cardiac Biomechanics
Pulmonary Biomechanics
Renal Biomechanics
Cellular biomechanics
Functional morphology
Automotive Safety - occupant design, development, evaluation
Complexity of human movement
Orthopedic implant development

Thus, the outline would appear:
BIOMECHANICS
-Application of engineering principles
-Sports Biomechanics
-Gait Lab and Analysis
Functional morphology
Complexity of human movement
-Microscopic - bioreheology, tissue mechanics, cellular mechanics,
biothermodynamics
Molecular - genetic engineering, electrophysiology
Cellular - hemodynamics, biophysics
Tissue - muscle mechanics, cardiac mechanics
Organismal - osteokinematics, arthrokinematics
-Orthopaedic Biomechanics:
Prosthetic design and analysis
Implant development
Rehabilitation
Instrumentation design
-Industrial Biomechanics:
Ergonomics - evaluation, analysis
Safety analysis and Risk assessment
ADA interpretation
Architecture, Construction
-Forensic Biomechanics:
Vehicle crashworthiness
Failure investigation and reconstruction
Expert witness
Automotive Safety - occupant design, development, evaluation
-Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics

BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, BIOENGINEERING
-Rehabilitation
Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases
Cardiac biomechanics
-Pulmonary Biomechanics
-Renal Biomechanics
-Stress Testing
-Metabolic Measurement, Physiology control
-Research
-Modeling and simulation methodologies of complex biomedical systems
-Instrumentation Technician
-Fluid Biofluids Research
-Nonlinear, nonstationary, sparce data and feeback systems
-Neural information processing, learning and memory
__________________________________________________ ____________________
Martha Jack, Ph.D. :) E-mail: mjack@beta.tricity.wsu.edu
Biomechanical Engineer :) Voice: (509) 943-0043
___o P.O. Box 776 :) FAX: (509) 943-4642 ___o
_ \