Living tissues show an intriguing, active response to mechanical loading. Not only is the intrinsic mechanical response complicated, the ability of living tissues to adapt to mechanical loading by changing their structure and composition is fascinating. For example tissue proliferation and differentiation is significantly affected by mechanical loading. A quantitative understanding of these phenomena, through experimentation and numerical modeling, is of crucial importance for many biomedical applications. At present, the main research themes are: cell and tissue damage due to sustained loading (e.g. decubitus), the use of biomaterials in artificial prosthesis design (e.g. intervertebral disc, small diameter blood vessel), and the engineering of living tissues and organs (e.g. heart valves and intervertebral disc).
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