37465 - Computational Biomechanics M

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, the students master advanced computational tools for the analysis of the musculoskeletal system, also in the presence of prosthetic devices. Learn to integrate image data with biomechanics models. Cross-validation with results obtained from in-vitro and in-vivo experimentation. Acquires theoretical-practical understanding of continuum mechanics and finite element method, as well as numerical methods for finite element modelling of nonlinear problems such as large displacements, contact, plasticity, etc. Acquires theoretical-practical understanding of multibody dynamics modelling of human movement, and related motor control. Familiarise yourself with widely used commercial programs. Develop skills in formulating and solving structural and functional biomechanics problems.

Course contents

With the start of the new curriculum Biomechanics for Mechanical Engineering, we reorganised our biomechanics lectures. The new “Biomechanics” integrated course is organised in two six-credits units called Experimental Biomechanics” and “Computational Biomechanics”. The latter is the merge of two previous courses, one with the same name and one called “Biomechanics of the Motor Function”.

Pre-recorded lectures: since students with different background attend this module, we offer a series of pre-recorded lectures on fundamental aspects that are necessary for the rest of the course:

- Notes on the physiology of the musculoskeletal system

- Methods for measuring movement

Live lessons will cover the following topics:

- Introduction to medicine in Silico

- Basics of tensor calculus and solid mechanics

- The finite element method

- Modelling of motor function

- Modelling of motor control

- Modelling of suboptimal control

- Stochastic modeling

- Credibility of predictive models

- Predict bone remodelling

- Differential diagnosis of dinapenia

- Clinical applications of patient-specific models



Viceconti, M. Multiscale Modeling of the Skeletal System. Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 978-0521769501.

Latash, M. L. Fundamentals of Motor Control. Academic Press, ISBN: 978-0124159563.

Teaching methods

The course is organised in three components: pre-recoded lectures, to align the background of all students; live lectures for frontal teaching; hands-on computer modelling laboratory with state of the art software.

As concerns the teaching methods of this course unit, all students must attend Module 1, 2 on Health and Safety online.

Assessment methods

Oral examination.

In order to guarantee a practical understanding of the modeling techniques covered by the course, the exercises must all be delivered before taking the exam and recording the grade, and can contribute in a small part to the final grade.

Given the advanced nature of the course, the contents of which change every year according to the evolution of research in the sector, attendance at lectures and tutorials is strongly recommended.

Teaching tools

- Ansys Mechanical for Finite Element Analysis

- OpenSim for human movement dynamics modelling

Office hours

See the website of Marco Viceconti


Good health and well-being

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.