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PhD position, connective tissue characterization, @LBMC, Univ Lyon, FRANCE

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  • PhD position, connective tissue characterization, @LBMC, Univ Lyon, FRANCE

    I am seeking a highly motivated PhD student with a background in biomechanics, physics, continuum mechancis, mechanical engineering, or biomedical engineering.

    The thesis project is about the characterization of connective tissue (fascia) mechanical properties, and is entitled
    "Characterization of fascia mechanical properties for virtual human":

    Human body models are important tools to better understand what phenomena are at stake for instance during walking or for different postures such as sitting. However, to reach this level of description, knowledge on mechanical properties of the musculoskeletal system components is necessary. At the lower limb level and in particular the thigh and buttocks, research is currently conducted in our lab to characterize the mechanical properties of the main soft tissues of the human body: skin, adipose tissue and muscles. But we also need to know fascia’s mechanical properties.

    Fascia is a connective tissue composed of collagen and elastin fibers, which may be loose or dense depending on its role. Here, we are interested in dense fascia whose main function is to sheath muscle (aponeurosis) and muscles’ groups (such as fascia lata). It also contributes to joints stability and to force transmission between muscles. A better knowledge of fascia mechanical properties could have several impacts for models dedicated to mobility and comfort, but also in the field of health. For example, osteopaths or physiotherapists who work on these tissues to reduce muscular tension or sports trauma, could benefit from this knowledge in order to improve their techniques.

    Literature reports few in vitro studies dealing with fascia mechanical properties characterization. They point out its anisotropic, non-linear and viscoelastic behavior. The most advanced works in this area are by Eng et al. 2014 and Pancheri et al. 2014. They carried out unidirectional and biaxial tensile tests on goat fascia lata and proposed an associated constitutive law. Nevertheless, this modeling assumes a homogeneous strain of the tissue, does not take into account shear effects, and neglects the viscoelastic behavior. Moreover loadings applied to the tissue are quite far from the physiological loadings and tissue pre-stress which can affect its ability to transmit forces between muscles is not considered.

    Therefore, the objectives of this work are to answer the following questions:
    • What are dense fascia mechanical properties?
    • How can we model and implement these properties into human body models?
    • How can we quantify fascia’s role in the transmission of forces between muscles, in particular by studying pre-stress exerted by fascia on muscular tissue?
    By answering these questions, human body models will be improved for use in applications such as the study of pedestrian mobility or car seat comfort.

    Keywords : Biomechanics, fascia, experimentation, constitutive law, modeling

    Full description of the project (in both french and english):
    Laboratoire de Biomcanique et Mcanique des Chocs Universit Gustave Eiffel 25 avenue Franois Mitterrand, Case24 Cit des mobilits...

    Application deadline : 1st April, 2018
    If you want to apply, please provide CV, motivations and master degree grades to Laure-Lise Gras,

    lab website :

    Laure-Lise Gras
    Maître de conférences / Assistant Professor
    LBMC UMR_T9406
    Laboratoire de Biomécanique et Mécanique des Chocs
    Université Lyon 1 - IFSTTAR