In this discipline will be introduced the concepts and formalisms of Biomechanics framed with examples of applications and the laboratory classes.

It is intended that at the end of the course, students demonstrates the bases for the understanding and application of key models used in Biomechanics and resulting equations, particularly in the study of movement and joints, mechanical properties of bones, contraction of skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscles.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Valentina Borissovna Vassilenko


Weekly - 3

Total - Available soon

Teaching language



Available soon


1. Lectures Notes on Biomechanics   - Valentina Vassilenko, FCT/UNL 
2.Fung, Y. C. Biomechanics: Mechanical Properties of Living Tissues, 2nd ed., 1993,  ISBN: 978-0-387-97947-2

3.B.H.Brown, Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering 
4.Panjabi, M.M. and White A.A. “Biomechanics in the Musculoskeletal System”, 1st. ed., Churchill Levingtone , 2001
5.  Seeley, T.D.Stephens, P.Tate Anatomia e Fisiologia, Lusodidacta, 2001
6. à Biblioteca à e-Books à The Biomedical Engineering Handbook; Vol.1, 2nd Edition,Ed.J.D.Bronzino, CRC Press LLC, 2000
7. Biomechanical Systems: Techniques & Applications,  Vol. I Computer Techniques and Computational Methods in Biomechanics; Vol. III, Musculoskeletal Models & Techniques; 
8. Problems for Biomechanics and Hemodynamics  – Valentina Vassilenko, FCT/UNL
9. Protocols for Laboratory Lessons – Valentina Vassilenko, FCT/UNL

Teaching method

Teaching consists of three components:

- Lectures (TEOR), where the fundamental concepts of the chair are transmitted, exemplified and discussed.

- Practical component (PRAT) that consists of performing of 3 laboratory sessions. This component provides learning of measurements of physiological signals of the human body by Biopac equipment, as well as analyse and interprets the results.

- Seminar (SEM) which consists of the preparation of work on a topic proposed by Professor.

The PRAT and SEM are performed by groups of two students

Evaluation method

Available soon

Subject matter

1- Introduction to Biomechanics

Definitions and History of Biomechanics.

Methods and measurements in Biomechanics.


2 - Kinematics and Kinetics

Global and local referential

Center of gravity

Kinematic calculus from the experimental data


3 - Mechanical properties of tissues

Mechanical loads on the human body

Relationship Stress / Strain

Elastic solids. Bones

Viscoelasticity. Modelling of the viscoelastic properties


4 - Biomechanics of muscle contraction

Types of muscles. Skeletal muscle.

Sliding filament theory;

Electrical properties of muscles: action potential; neuromuscular junction;

Motor unit and muscle contraction;

Experimental measurements - Electromyography;

Types of muscle contraction.

Hill''''s equation.

Smooth muscles.


5 - Heart Biomechanics

Cardiac muscle. Main differences from skeletal muscle.

Contraction of the cardiac muscle.

Electrical properties and relationship to mechanical events.

Modified Hill''''s equation for cardiac muscle. Modelling of the cardiac muscle.


6 - Biomechanics of Motion and Joints

Classification of joints & types of motion

Kinematics of joints

Simulation & Modelling


Laboratory sessions:  the laboratorial activity consists in performing works by each student in group of 2 of the following practical works:

1.        Electromyography

2.        Electromyography & Dynamometry


Programs where the course is taught: