New line of research at CMEMS involves Mechanical Engineering in Medicine

Oscar Carvalho and his team are developing an innovative line of research that integrates mechanical engineering knowledge into the field of medicine. With a revolutionary approach, the team is analysing the human body from a mechanical point of view, investigating all the body’s mechanisms and modes of operation as if it were a complex machine. This perspective makes it possible to understand not only the mechanical properties of tissues, but also how variations in these properties can be related to pathologies such as cancer. As well as materials, they are also studying the complexity of the mechanisms that exist in the human body, such as the opening and closing of the heart’s “valves”, which are reminiscent of a combustion engine’s injection and exhaust system.

The latest acquisition of the CMEMS/LABBELS research centre, a GE elastography machine, is generating great enthusiasm among the team.

The Mechanical Engineering Department (DEM) hosted a demonstration of this new equipment, which generated a lot of enthusiasm among those present. This event was sponsored by the Brainstimap project – Mapping and modelling the transmission profile of optical and mechanical stimuli in the brain to optimise transcranial stimulation to combat neurological and psychiatric diseases.

The equipment makes it possible to measure and verify the mechanical properties of biological tissues with precision, opening up new possibilities for medical research. Two researchers from CMEMS will spend the next few years exploring the potential of this equipment.

It’s a fascinating approach, where mechanical and biomedical engineers apply the same laws that govern the functioning of conventional machines to understand the human body. Although the body is an extraordinarily complex machine, mechanical laws are universal. This complexity not only challenges researchers, but also serves as a source of inspiration – “biomimicry” – for the development of new inventions and technologies based on the incredible sophistication of the human body.

“Mechanical engineering is beautiful; it’s not just about studying nuts and bolts, aluminium and steel, machining or casting. Mechanical engineering goes beyond this and can help us realise the beauty that is our human body,” says DEM’s social media post

The team is incredibly excited about the possibilities of this research. The vision of Oscar Carvalho and his team is opening up new frontiers at the intersection of engineering and medicine, promising significant advances in the understanding and treatment of disease, and showing how science can transform our approach to studying and caring for the human body.equipamento