Biomechanical response is often influenced by the geometry (shape) of a system. Numerical techniques such as the finite element (FE) method offer the possibility of incorporating geometric details of a system into a mathematical model with a greater level of detail than is generally achievable with purely analytical models. In this vein, FE models of biological structures tend to fall into two broad categories: generic models and specimen-specific models. Generic models are attractive because the geometric features of interest may be cast as variable parameters that simplify analysis of factor influence, but may be limited in what can be predicted about a specific specimen. In contrast, specimen-specific models may contain a high level of geometric detail, but analysis of the influence of geometry can be more complicated.

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