9R74. Cardiovascular Solid Mechanics: Cells, Tissues, and Organs. - JD Humphrey (Dept of Biomed Eng, Texas A&M Univ, College Station TX 77843-3120). Springer-Verlag, New York. 2002. 757 pp. ISBN 0-387-95168-7. $99.00.
Reviewed by M Epstein (Dept of Mech Eng, Univ of Calgary, 2500 University Dr NW, Calgary AB, T2N 1N4, Canada).
Ambitious both in scope and depth, this book constitutes a remarkable achievement. Predicated on the principle that the next generation of biomechanicists should be as proficient in Continuum Mechanics as in Biology and in formulating simple models from raw experiments, this 750-page book attempts to encompass the necessary combined background in one volume suitable for use as a text. It is divided into three parts.
The first part, occupying roughly a third of the book and entitled Foundations, can be considered as an almost stand-alone textbook in Continuum Mechanics and the Finite Element Method. Keeping in mind the intended application to soft tissues, the treatment emphasizes geometrical and material nonlinearities. It is doubtful that students without any previous background in either Continuum Mechanics or Finite Elements might be able to acquire a working knowledge in either subject from this book alone. On the other hand, students already having an introductory exposure to these subjects will be able to see the whole picture and will profit enormously from the relatively high-level and concise style of the presentation. The theoretical treatment is supplemented with a chapter on experimental methods. If the book were to be used as text, a two-semester format would be ideal, with the first semester entirely devoted to the study of the first part of the book so as to provide the students with a sound foundation in theoretical, numerical, and experimental methods. Taking into consideration the aforementioned principle, the effort will not be wasted.
The second, and largest, part of the book is dedicated to Vascular Mechanics. A good description of the histology and physiology of the arterial wall is followed by material considerations, such as symmetry, inhomogeneity, incompressibility, and residual stress. It is here where the knowledge gained in the foundations becomes important, since the general experimental observations are implemented within a consistent constitutive framework. Perhaps the most interesting chapter of this second part of the book is the one devoted to Vascular Disorders (hypertension, aneurisms, arteriosclerosis). Vascular adaptation is given a separate chapter in which modern theories of kinematic growth are discussed among other ideas. The third, and final, part of the book is devoted to Cardiac Mechanics. It consists of a lone 120-page chapter on the normal mature heart. The lack of even a short chapter on cardiac disorders is noted.
Each chapter is followed by a set of challenging exercises ranging from historical reviews to detailed calculations. A wealth of references is proof that Cardiovascular Solid Mechanics: Cells, Tissues, and Organs is not just intended as a text, but also as a valuable reference for researchers in soft-tissue mechanics. It should be purchased by libraries for general use and by individuals that would like to have an excellent, handy, comprehensive, and useful reference book on their shelves.