202.671 Continuum biomechanics in soft tissues
This course is in all assigned curricula part of the STEOP.
This course is in at least 1 assigned curriculum part of the STEOP.

2020W, VO, 4.0h, 6.0EC


  • Semester hours: 4.0
  • Credits: 6.0
  • Type: VO Lecture
  • Format: Distance Learning

Learning outcomes

After successful completion of the course, students are able to understand the application of applied continuum mechanics to the solution of problems in biological systems, from cells to tissues. These courses will also provide students with the education needed to practice bioengineering in the medical devices industry.

Subject of course

1-2. Tissue biology basics. Link between microstructure and macroscale properties, and experimental characterization techniques. Structure, function and mechanical behaviour of tissues and organs (bone, cartilage, ligament, tendon, intervertebral disc, skin, nerve, skeletal muscle, heart, lung, artery, vein). Composition, function and mechanics of biological fluids.

3-4. Cardiovascular biomechanics. Cardiovascular system. Biodynamic biological fluids. Biomechanics of the blood circulation. Ability to model specific problems such as the pulse wave in arteries, the effect of compression on the veins for the venous blood return

5. Modeling approaches for continuum biomechanics of soft tissues: basics of continuum mechanics and possible alternatives, finite deformations in solids

6. Modeling approaches for continuum biomechanics of soft tissues: hyperelasticity, hypoelasticity, poroelasticity, chemoelasticty, other constitutive equations, relationships between the constitutive equations and the microstructure of tissues.

7-9. Nonlinear finite-element modelling, numerical implementation of hyperelasticty, tutorials in FEBio

10-11. Characterization of damage and failure mechanics of soft tissues, local analysis of rupture modes in soft tissues, experimental characterization and numerical implementation

12. Advanced experimental approaches for soft tissue mechanics: full-field measurement techniques, imaging techniques, link between experiments and modeling

13-14. Introduction to inverse problems, Identification of material parameters from full-field measurements, Characterization of maps of material parameters at different scales

15. Numerical implementation of the virtual fields method to derive mechanical properties of soft tissues

Teaching methods

Direct teaching and tutorials to introduce and practice theoretical aspects

Reading and commenting scientific papers

Introduction to using a finite-element software dedicated to soft-tissues

Mode of examination


Additional information

Preliminary Information

Owing to the covid-19 situation, the university has decided that all courses which can be taught online should be taught in that way.

The course will be held every Friday morning from 9.00 (some exceptions may occur but they will be notified in advance).

It will be taught on zoom at: https://tuwien.zoom.us/j/9778307194

The first course will be Friday 23rd October at 9.00.

The course is a 4h / week course. Every course will be split like the following:

1. there will be a conference lecture by the professor of about 1h from 9.00 to 10.00. The topic of the lecture will be announced in advance and the slides of the powerpoint presentation will be available on TUWEL about 1 week before the day of the course. The conference lecture will be given live and will be registered. The video will be made available online after the lecture on TUWEL.

2. there will be an interactive tutorial session of about 1h from 10.00 to 11.00, including a short break. During this interactive session, the students can ask questions about the conference lecture to have clarifications, and work on exercises related to the lecture. Exercises will be posted on TUWEL about 1 week before the day of the course (same time as the powerpoint presentation).

3. there will be another lecture by the professor of about 1h from 11.00 to 12.00 during which he will show the solution of exercises and give explanations. The lecture will be given live and will be registered. The video will also be made available online after the lecture on TUWEL.

4. the professor will remain connected during the slot between 12.00 and 13.00 for answering questions by the students if any.

For specific  information please email directly the Professor at stephane.avril@tuwien.ac.at.


Documents & videos are available on TUWEL.




Course dates

Thu10:00 - 11:0015.10.2020 online (LIVE)preliminary discussion
Fri09:00 - 13:0023.10.2020 - 22.01.2021 online (LIVE)online Lecture
Continuum biomechanics in soft tissues - Single appointments
Thu15.10.202010:00 - 11:00 onlinepreliminary discussion
Fri23.10.202009:00 - 13:00 onlineonline Lecture
Fri30.10.202009:00 - 13:00 onlineonline Lecture
Fri06.11.202009:00 - 13:00 onlineonline Lecture
Fri13.11.202009:00 - 13:00 onlineonline Lecture
Fri20.11.202009:00 - 13:00 onlineonline Lecture
Fri27.11.202009:00 - 13:00 onlineonline Lecture
Fri04.12.202009:00 - 13:00 onlineonline Lecture
Fri11.12.202009:00 - 13:00 onlineonline Lecture
Fri18.12.202009:00 - 13:00 onlineonline Lecture
Fri08.01.202109:00 - 13:00 onlineonline Lecture
Fri15.01.202109:00 - 13:00 onlineonline Lecture
Fri22.01.202109:00 - 13:00 onlineonline Lecture

Examination modalities

Creation of a software application

Course registration

Begin End Deregistration end
24.09.2020 08:00 15.10.2020 12:00 15.10.2020 12:00



No lecture notes are available.

Previous knowledge

Mathematics: linear algebra, matrices

Continuum solid mechanics: stress, strains, linear elasticity, equilibrium equations

Basics of fluid mechanics: navier-stokes equations

No specific background required in biology