Categoria: Teaching

Do you want to learn Finite Element Analysis in the context of biomechanics in life science?

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If you want to learn Finite Element Analysis in the context of biomechanics in life science, a new Transmitting Science course is launched for the next July in Catalonia: FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS APPLIED TO LIFE SCIENCES

In the course, there is an introduction to the Finite Element in order to model biological structures and understand how they worked. It will cover all the steps involved in FEA except the creation or reconstruction of the model, which it is covered in the previous course Introduction to 3D Imaging Technologies: Photogrammetry, Laser, CT-scan and (µ)CT-scan for Life Sciences by my colleague and teacher of the FEA course, Josep Fortuny. And, I know, sometimes is where we are spending most of our time and efforts!

In the course you will learn how to define the material properties of biological structures, the use of a consistent Mesh Generation Methods, and the proper definition of biomechanical boundary conditions and finally, how understand and analyse the results obtained in plane models (the wrong-called 2D) and in the fancy 3D models created from CT-data. But, the limitation of time is always a problem and, in the course, we are just covering static analysis and linear materials. Which it is enough for an starting course because most of the works published in life sciences are covering this part and creates and open window for everybody in the course to learn more in the future.

You can enroll in the website and ask me questions if you have doubts!

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Classical biomechanics rocks!

This January I have been teaching the theoretical background of classical biomechanics in the workshop “Introduction to Functional Morphology and Biomechanics” (4th Ed) in Catalonia (Premises of Sabadell of the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP)). My colleagues Dr. Richard Fariña, Dr. Pere Ibáñez-Gimeno and Dr. Soledad de Esteban-Trivingno are showing simple models based on the basic principles of classical physics to infer the life history of extinct vertebrates. My duty in this workshop is introduce the physics of the problems: Static equations, Newton laws, Beam theory and tools such as Free Body Diagram or Moment and Force Diagrams to the attendants.

The three laws of motion were first compiled by Isaac Newton in his Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy), first published in 1687 and the Beam Theory for bending was first enunciated circa 1750 by Leonhard Euler and Daniel Bernoulli. In spite of being quite old theories they are nowadays used in biomechanics to solve lots of problems related with the chewing mechanism of vertebrates or the behaviour of bones.

Some recent examples from 2015 and 2016 are the three dimensional free body analysis that describe the relationship between the orientation and position of the jaw elevator muscles, the position of the jaw articulation relative to the bite point, the joint reaction forces and the bite force in the lower jaw of the non-mammalian cynodont Probainognathus:  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ede.12171/abstract or the work of my colleagues Varela & Fariña where the moment arms of jaw muscles and the hypsodonty index (HI) have been used in Artiodactyla in a research done last year: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jzo.12246/full.

This examples are giving us the perspective that, in spite of being old theories, biomechanics are still rocking and we can use in our new brand research.

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More information of the course: http://www.transmittingscience.org/…/funct-mo…/biomechanics/

Teaching FEA for paleobiologists

Last week was held a new edition of the course about Computer Biomechanics in life sciences using Finite Element Analysis. In last ten years Finite Element Analysis (FEA) become a commonly used method in biology and palaeontology which can be find in lots of recent research publications. As I know, the first paper where FEA was used in the context of paleobiology is the work of Emily Rayfield in the cranial function of Allosaurs published as a letter in Nature [see here!]: And after it, the list of papers is continuously increasing. If you want to know more things about it, I recommend reading the post “FEA for dummies” by the paleobiologist Andrew Cuff.

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As a complex methodology, FEA involves a high knowledge of the laws and concepts of continuum mechanics and maths. Especially in numerical solutions of differential equations. But, in order to make thing easier for the scientific community, Soledad de Esteban-Trivigno (from Transmitting Science) proposed me to create a course where all the theoretical background and -of course- the practical approach was explained to biologists, paleontologists or other researchers coming from life sciences. And this is what we are trying to do: give the most important theoretical keys of FEA to the attendants and tricks to create FEA models in software such as CAELinux (the free one) and ANSYS (the expensive one).

In the course, there is an introduction to the Finite Element in order to model biological structures and understand how they worked. It will cover all the steps involved in FEA except the creation or reconstruction of the model, which it is covered in the previous course 3D Model Generation in Biosciences by my colleague Josep Fortuny. And, I know, sometimes is where we are spending most of our time and efforts! That is how to define the material properties of biological structures, the use of a consistent Mesh Generation Methods, and the proper definition of biomechanical boundary conditions and finally, how understand and analyse the results obtained in plane models (the wrong-called 2D) and in the fancy 3D models created from CT-data. But, the limitation of time is always a problem and, in the course, we are just covering static analysis and linear materials. Which it is enough for an starting course because most of the works published in life sciences are covering this part and creates and open window for everybody in the course to learn more in the future.

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more information, upcoming editions and other courses organized by Transmitting Science:  http://www.transmittingscience.org/courses/funct-morph/fea/

New videos in my Youtube channel: Workshops of Plane Models

I’ve added a new video in my Youtube Channel from the course “Introduction to biomechanical computer simulation: Digital Modelling and Finite Element Analysis Applied to Biosciences” by Jordi Marcé-Nogué (University of Hamburg) and Josep Fortuny (Institut Català de Paleontologia – Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle) and organized by Transmitting Science: http://www.transmittingscience.org/courses/funct-morph/fea_en/

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The video is a tutorial about a Finite Element Analysis of a bovid jaw using ANSYS workbench 16 for the construction of a plane model. The methodology proposed in this tutorial is the one used (with some modifications)  in the following papers:

  1. Serrano-Fochs S, De Esteban-Trivigno S, Marcé-Nogué J, Fortuny J, Fariña RA. Finite Element Analysis of the Cingulata Jaw: An Ecomorphological Approach to Armadillo’s Diets. PLoS One. 2015;10(4):e0120653: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0120653 
  2. Gil L, Marcé-Nogué J, Sánchez M. Insights into the controversy over materials data for the comparison of biomechanical performance in vertebrates. Palaeontol Electron. 2015;18.1.12A:1–24. http://palaeo-electronica.org/content/2015/1095-controversy-in-materials-data
  3. Marcé-Nogué J, DeMiguel D, De Esteban-Trivigno S, Fortuny J, Gil L. Quasi-homothetic transformation for comparing the mechanical performance of planar models in biological research. Palaeontol Electron. 2013;16(3). http://palaeo-electronica.org/content/2013/468-quasihomothetic-transformation

Workshop in Biomechanics and Functional Morphology in January

In January I will be teaching in the workshop “Introduction to Functional Morphology and Biomechanics” (4th Ed) in Catalonia (Premises of Sabadell of the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP)). It will be from Monday 11th to Friday 15th January 2016 and will be taught for Dr. Richard Fariña, Dr. Pere Ibáñez-Gimeno, Dr. Soledad de Esteban-Trivingno and myself.

This workshop aims to give the participants the ability to use the interdisciplinary approach of biomechanics, especially (but not only) through examples in palaeontology. Simple models based on the basic principles of classical physics will be used to infer the life history of extinct vertebrates.

If you are interested, more info and registration: http://www.transmittingscience.org/…/funct-mo…/biomechanics/

Poster-Biomechanics

New Biomechanical Computer Simulation Course in november

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is a great tool for biologists, palaeontologists, doctors, veterinarians, and other biosciences specialities in which researchers face questions about biomechanics of living and extinct organisms. Elements like bone, arthropod exoskeleton, mollusc shells, or the stems and leaves of plants can be analysed using this technique. FEA is a non-invasive modelling technique, based on the principle of dividing a system into a finite number of discrete elements where the equations are applied. MOre information in: http://www.transmittingscience.org/courses/funct-morph/fea/

In this course organized by Transmitting Science, there will be an introduction to the Finite Element in order to model biological structures and understand how they worked. It will cover all the steps involved in FEA (for static analysis) except the creation or reconstruction of the model, which will be covered in the previous course 3D Model Generation in Biosciences. Join us in Els Hostalets de Pierola, a nice village in Catalonia from the 9th to the 13th of november 2015 !!

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Nuevo curso de simulación computacional i digitalización en paleobiologia

Un nuevo curso organizado por Transmitting Science se está realizando durante ese mes de marzo en la ciudad Argentina de La Plata sobre “Introducción al análisis funcional a través de la simulación computacional: Modelado digital y Análisis de Elementos Finitos aplicados a biociencias”. El curso se realiza en el edificio  CONICET – Centro Científico Tecnológico (CCT) La Plata y está impartido por Josep Fortuny (Institut Català de Paleontologia) y Jordi Marcé-Nogué (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya).

En este curso se realiza una introducción al análisis de elementos finitos para el modelado de estructuras biológicas. Se abarcan todas las etapas implicadas en FEA (análisis estático) a partir de la creación o reconstrucción del modelo de CT-scan, la forma de definir las propiedades del material de las estructuras biológicas, el uso de una constante de métodos de generación de malla y, por último, cómo entender los resultados obtenido en una simulación computacional.

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