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Biomechanics as a scientific discipline

08 Dec 2016

About sports biomechanics, movement of animals and mechanical disturbances in the human body. What place takes biomechanics in professional sports? How important is the study of microorganisms motion mechanisms? What medical problems can be solved biomechanics?

Biomechanics is the science that studies the movement in living systems. In this sense, the biomechanics of interest more or less covers the entire area of biology, because the existence of all living organisms is somehow related to the motion. Sometimes it is obvious, as in the case of birds, running, walking or swimming in the case of fish and in other cases is obvious.

Interest in biomechanics has arisen since emerged as a science. And, perhaps, the first outstanding biomechanics was Leonardo da Vinci, who left an enormous amount of material devoted to just the movement of different organisms.

In addition to tasks, where the role of mechanics is evident, there are many events where mechanics plays a huge significant role, but it is not obvious. One such example is a plant which is known to synthesize organic substances from water and carbon dioxide. The water they take from the soil, and in the case of, say, the tallest tree, a giant sequoia, there is quite a trivial task lifting large volumes of water on the trunk, which can be 70 meters high, and the delivery of the water where photosynthesis takes place in the crown of this tree. This is a mechanical problem, and its nature is decided, knowing the laws of mechanics.

As for the so-called outer biomechanics, ie, flight, swimming, jogging, - there were many different scientists who have made a fundamental contribution to this area. Classic biomechanics labor, athletic movements - Russian scientist Nikolai Bernstein, and for many people the word "biomechanics" associates with sports biomechanics. Biomechanics plays a crucial role in the training of athletes in their preparation.

The movement of different animals - it is also very interesting and very non-trivial phenomenon. It is enough to imagine that there are giant whales the size of 30 meters, the size and weight with a good ship that move with great speed in the water, and features a swimming such large animals, their movements - how work their muscles, how they provide such great speed and a sufficiently high efficiency at enormous speeds and enormous size - is the subject of biomechanics research.

To sort out these problems, you need to be familiar with the mechanics. No wonder one of the outstanding British biomechanics, Sir James Lighthill, made a huge contribution in this area. He also knew very well the taxonomy of different aquatic animals and was a phenomenal swimmer - he often swam at the conference itself, without the ship, if they were not on a very remote island. This is one scale, with a range of issues. Or a flight of birds, which fly thousands of kilometers - is also not trivial: from how they have the energy for it. And it is very economical flight - is also the subject of biomechanics research.

On the other side of the scale - the movement of single-celled organisms that do this at the expense of molecular a motor - cilia and flagella - and, thanks to their motion, are developing quite noticeable speed. It is also an object of interest and curiosity, on the one hand. On the other hand, it has a completely practical applications, because male infertility is often associated with impaired ability of sperm to move. This study at various levels, ranging from behavior to study the mechanics of sperm, ending with the study of what proteins which violations in which proteins and as a cause is infertility.

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The second round of biomechanical problems - is, for example, the biomechanics of blood flow, respiratory biomechanics, biomechanics circulation.

This is also a very old region - as soon as William Harvey discovered the circulation in the XVII century, it became a scientific task. A lot of this has made Leonhard Euler, who was not only an outstanding mathematician and mechanic, but in particular, he was the first to write an equation, invented the theory of pulse wave from the heart to the vessels on the arterial bed, the theory of pulse wave. The first place of work was the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, he headed the Department of Physiology.

At present, these problems are closely related to medicine and, biomechanics experts are studying the flow of blood in the arteries, especially violations of the flow at different pathologies, when there arise plaques or, on the contrary, the artery swells arise aneurysm, changing the flow - which in turn affects the the process itself. The study of such diseases, simulation operations, which are produced on the vessels or the heart, and try to predict their outcomes and help the doctor to choose this or that tactic - is also the subject of biomechanics, which is rapidly developing around the world, especially now, when thanks to new imaging techniques - X-ray tomography, nuclear magnetic imaging - and the emergence of new ultrasound systems, we have the opportunity to see well the structure and blood flow, such as in blood vessels.

Another important practical aspect of biomechanics, where again the movement is non-trivial, obvious that a mechanical system, but in fact the mechanics plays there a significant role - the movement, behavior, interaction is not muscle cells, not those that are specifically designed for movement, and normal cells. This is related to oncology, because it was abnormally mobile cells that are bad neighbors feel and understand, become the source of the most dangerous tumors - they move from place to place, give rise to metastasis and so on. And this deeper aspect of the role of mechanical interactions in the behavior of cells in its differentiation, in which proteins in it are expressed and which are not - this is a profound biological problem, in the solution which is now intensively, actively participates biomechanics, because biologists have realized that such mechanical interaction between the cells is very important. And without the participation of mechanics, biomechanics move in this direction is very difficult.

Thus, biomechanics is a complex science, which relates, in general, to all the problems of biology, on the one hand, helps to understand the structure, how the biological systems, on the other hand, helps to have a practical physicians understand how to repair, if any mechanical disturbances, damage to occur in the body. Creation of joint prostheses, for example - a task which involved biomechanics worldwide.

It is a science, which, on the one hand, is busy studying of how the wildlife, and on the other hand, which has a completely practical applications in modern medicine.


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