In this perspective article we discuss the role of contemporary biomechanics in the light of recent applications such as the development of the so-called Virtual Physiological Human technologies for physiology-based in silico medicine. In order to build Virtual Physiological Human (VPH) models, computer models that capture and integrate the complex systemic dynamics of living organisms across radically different space-time scales, we need to re-formulate a vast body of existing biology and physiology knowledge so that it is formulated as a quantitative hypothesis, which can be expressed in mathematical terms. Once the predictive accuracy of these models is confirmed against controlled experiments and against clinical observations, we will have VPH model that can reliably predict certain quantitative changes in health status of a given patient, but also, more important, we will have a theory, in the true meaning this word has in the scientific method. In this scenario, biomechanics plays a very important role, biomechanics is one of the few areas of life sciences where we attempt to build full mechanistic explanations based on quantitative observations, in other words, we investigate living organisms like physical systems. This is in our opinion a Copernican revolution, around which the scope of biomechanics should be re-defined. Thus, we propose a new definition for our research domain "Biomechanics is the study of living organisms as mechanistic systems".
- Virtual Physiological Human
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering