The aim of this book is to highlight the extent to which biological tissues are exposed to the mechanical environment, demonstrate the importance of the mechanical environment in living systems, critically review experimental procedure with reference to the mechanical environment and illustrate the how appropriate procedures can further biomedical research.
The mechanical environment covers such physical phenomena as bonding and compression; fluid flow-derived friction, distention to cell membranes or complete tissues. As such, living cells and tissues are exposed to changes in this environment. Accordingly, as a means to exploit such changes, strategies have evolved in biology. Firstly, mechanisms are required to register changes and subsequently respond to take advantage of change or prevent damage occurring.
Wider recognition of these systems and appreciation of their role that serve to maintain physiological status quo will lead to more appropriate research programs geared to understand the extant of the mechanical influence. Aligned with this the narrative, contributors will be encouraged to ask 'what if' questions. This will initiate thinking and debate within the audience as to the 'means' and 'hows' that research can better contribute to medical conditions.
Woven within each chapter the contributors will expand their writing to demonstrate how governance of the downstream effects of mechanical events could be modulated to achieve appropriate biochemical response. For example, mechanical weight-bearing is important for maintain skeletal mass, yet bone loss can occur despite continued mechanical usage. Further, it will be important to initiate thinking as to how a biomechanical response could be initiated in the absence of a mechanical event. How can bone loss be prevented in unloaded situation of bed-rest or space flight?
The book will cover as many of tissue/organ systems as possible, but concentrating mainly on musculoskeletal, vascular, skin and lung tissues - where there a vast array of medical conditions, and in which medical research ignores the input of the mechanical environment.