The 29th Congress of the European Society of Biomechanics (ESB 2024) took place from June 30 to July 3, 2024, in the historic and vibrant city of Edinburgh, Scotland. This annual event gathers leading researchers, clinicians, and industry experts from around the globe to discuss the latest advancements in mechanics applied to biology, fostering a collaborative environment for sharing knowledge and innovations.

Edinburgh, known for its rich cultural heritage and as a hub of scientific research and breakthroughs, offers a picturesque and inspiring backdrop for this prestigious conference. The city’s legacy in health and life sciences continues to make it a beacon of knowledge, where groundbreaking research and developments thrive. Attendees will not only have the opportunity to engage in high-level scientific discussions but also to experience the unique charm and history of Scotland’s capital.

ESB

Founded in 1976, the European Society of Biomechanics (ESB) aims to advance research, knowledge dissemination, and innovation. As Europe’s largest biomechanics society with over 1500 members, ESB unites scientists, engineers, and clinicians to explore mechanical processes in biological systems.

Scientific art generated with GPT-4o

The ESB supports interdisciplinary collaboration through annual congresses, workshops, and training programs. Members enjoy benefits such as reduced event rates, access to a broad network of specialists, and participation in committees. The society prioritizes early-career researchers and students, offering awards, grants, and mentorship to aid their professional development. By promoting fundamental and applied research, the ESB contributes to health and quality of life improvements. It stands as a leading organization in that field, known for fostering scientific excellence and practical applications in the field across Europe and beyond.

Congress in Edinburgh

The scientific program is designed to address the latest research and technological advancements. It includes sessions on musculoskeletal mechanics, computational methods, cardiovascular mechanics, and soft tissue mechanics, among others. The main topics include:

  • Cardiovascular biomechanics
  • Cardiovascular implants and devices
  • Cardiovascular imaging
  • Computational methods for cardiovascular applications
  • Musculoskeletal biomechanics
  • Orthopaedic implants and devices
  • Musculoskeletal imaging
  • Computational methods for orthopaedic applications
  • Hard tissue biomechanics
  • Soft tissue biomechanics
  • Computational methods in tissue mechanics
  • Mechanobiology
  • Tissue engineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Cellular and molecular biomechanics
  • Human movement (organized jointly with ESMAC)
  • Orthotics & prosthetics
  • Sports biomechanics
  • Ergonomics and occupational biomechanics
  • Rehabilitation
  • Impact/injury biomechanics
  • In silico and in vivo clinical trials
  • Verification, validation, and uncertainties quantification
  • Computational biology
  • Additive manufacturing for biomedical applications
  • Humanoid robotics and mechatronics
  • In vivo measurement, sensors, and experimental biomechanics
  • New mathematics in biomechanics
  • Biomechanics education
  • Cellular biomechanics
  • Molecular biomechanics
  • Data-driven healthcare and machine learning in biomechanics
  • Animal and plant biomechanics
  • Respiratory biomechanics
  • Dental biomechanics
  • Ocular biomechanics
  • Reproductive biomechanics
  • Clinical biomechanics
  • Translational research in biomechanics

Attending a congress in Edinburgh turned out to be more exciting than I had anticipated. Not only was the event incredibly informative, but it also included a whisky tasting session. As someone who appreciates the finer things in life, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. Picture this: after a day of engaging discussions and networking, I found myself in a cozy, atmospheric room with fellow attendees, each of us holding a glass of Scotland’s finest whisky. The experience was enriching, offering insights into the rich heritage and craftsmanship behind each bottle.

biomechanics
Not me
biomechanics

Presenting my work

Joining a technical congress is vital for professional growth and networking. It offers a platform to learn about the latest advancements, trends, and innovations from leading experts. Attendees can engage in insightful discussions, attend workshops, and participate in hands-on sessions, enhancing their technical skills and knowledge.

The majority of the Biomechanics community from Europe and America gathers at this congress, sharing research advancements and fostering collaboration. This event serves as a crucial platform for exchanging innovative ideas, discussing cutting-edge technologies, and exploring new methodologies. Participants have the opportunity to engage in in-depth discussions, attend keynote sessions by renowned experts, and contribute to the collective knowledge of the field. By coming together, the community not only showcases their latest findings but also strengthens professional relationships, paving the way for future breakthroughs in biomechanics research

Thankfully for this congress, I also received two different scholarship covering part of the travel.

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Current research on atherosclerosis is crucial due to its significant implications for global health. Atherosclerosis causes thickening and stiffening of the vascular walls, leading to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.

Atherosclerosis

The primary risk to patients comes from plaque rupture, which can result in strokes. These strokes can cause severe disability or death, underscoring the importance of addressing this pathology effectively.

Current clinical guidelines mainly emphasize imaging techniques to assess the degree of stenosis. While medical therapies and surgical interventions have successfully reduced stroke risks in symptomatic patients, there remains significant room for improvement. The clinical challenges include the variability in individual patient anatomy and plaque characteristics, which complicates the prediction of disease progression and the optimization of treatment strategies.

This is where my work in computational mechanics comes into play. By simulating the mechanical environment of the carotid artery, these models provide detailed insights into stress and strain distributions within the arterial wall and plaque, helping to identify regions prone to rupture.

However, current biomechanical models need improvement. They often rely on idealized assumptions and face the high computational costs of running detailed simulations. There is also a need to integrate these models seamlessly with clinical procedures. Most importantly, it’s crucial to account for the biological activity of the tissues. Vascular walls are living organisms that respond to various stimuli to maintain homeostasis and minimize the effects of pathology, yet they are often modeled as linear-elastic inert materials.

Computational mechanics for carotid arteries

My work addresses these limitations by developing more accurate and clinically applicable biomechanical models. This approach aims to enhance the prediction of plaque rupture risks. So to improve the overall management of atherosclerosis including a new Growth & Remodeling algorithm based on the homogenous stress hypothesis.

The talk emphasized the significance of stress levels in driving vascular remodeling and maintaining optimal function within the vascular system. By analyzing how blood vessels adapt to mechanical forces, the presentation illustrated that variations in hypertension can trigger growth and remodeling, resulting in a new homeostatic state. The growth and remodeling (G&R) framework developed uses patient-specific geometries from CT-A scans. It integrates different tissues in the atherosclerotic plaque into finite element models. This approach helps achieve a more homogeneous stress state, reduces peak stresses, and redistributes loads. It highlights the necessity of personalized assessment in evaluating the risk of plaque rupture. The findings underscore the importance of incorporating detailed material distributions and geometry to improve the accuracy and reliability of vascular stress analyse