The term “biomechanics” is used to describe the application of mechanics—the study of how motor systems create force and motion—to biological systems. Biomechanics often employs traditional engineering techniques. The difference is that the mechanics of biological systems are typically far more complex than man-made mechanical systems and often require newer and more advanced analytical techniques that can drive all fields forward.

Just as in other areas of bioengineering, biomechanics applies not only at the macro level, where joints are articulated, but can be studied down to the molecular level. In fact, the mechanics of biological systems at the macro level are influenced by what is occurring at the level of muscles, tissues and molecules.

One area of biomechanics with which we can all relate as we age is biotribology, which addresses friction, wear and lubrication; especially with regard to human joints. How might a knee implant wear over time? How is this wear influenced by the lubrication effects of synovial fluid? Such questions are the purview of biomechanical engineers.

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