This website is no longer updated.

As of 1.10.2022, the Faculty of Physics has been merged into the TUM School of Natural Sciences with the website For more information read Conversion of Websites.

de | en

Biomechanics - Fundamentals and Modeling

Module MW1817

This Module is offered by Chair of Computational Mechanics (Prof. Wall).

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of WS 2022/3 (current)

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
WS 2022/3WS 2013/4SS 2013

Basic Information

MW1817 is a semester module in German language at Bachelor’s level and Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Catalogue of non-physics elective courses
Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 45 h 5 CP

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Biomechanics is defined as the study of biological systems by means of mechanical principles. It is aimed at providing insights into the system's structure and function, predicting pathological changes, and proposing therapeutic approaches. Hence, biomechanics is the basis of modern (bio-)medical engineering. In this module, the individual steps of modeling are demonstrated based on several examples. Starting from a brief overview of the anatomy and physiology of the system under consideration (including lung, bone, cardiovascular system), the aspects which are essential for a mechanical model are defined and suitable modeling approaches are formulated. The focus of this module is on the mechanics of biological tissues (including passive and active behavior, growth, remodeling) as well as on the modeling of flow and transport phenomena in blood vessels and airways (including the comparison of 3D, 1D, and 0D models).

Learning Outcome

Upon successful completion of the module Biomechanics Fundamentals and Modeling, students are capable of independently identifying which basic mechanical principles have to be considered to describe the behaviour of an existing biological system. Thus, they can identify the significant effects and deduce a less complex mathematical model of the underlying biology. In particular, they know how to homogenise tissue properties as well as the basic steps towards reducing the flow patterns in blood circulation and in the lung in their dimension. Furthermore, the students have a broad overview of the current models used to describe the most important processes in the human body.


Knowledge of nonlinear continuum mechanics and physiology is helpful but not mandatory. Important basics are covered at the beginning of the lecture.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

The module consists of a lecture and an exercise. Within the lecture, the theoretical basics of biomechanics and modelling are written on the tablet PC, which the students can transfer to their handout. In the exercises, example tasks are worked out and solved together. In this way, the students should learn, for example, to identify the relevant physical effects and to derive the simplest possible mathematical description of biology from them and, in the area of structural mechanics, to master the concept of homogenisation of tissue properties as well as, in fluid mechanics, the essential steps for dimensional reduction of flows in the blood circulation and in the lungs.


Lecture, presentation with tabloid PC, additional materials on learning platform


Student's notes taken during lecture, handout of slides filled in during lecture, list of further literature:
• Bates, Jason. Lung Mechanics : An Inverse Modeling Approach, Cambridge University Press, 2009.
• Ethier, C. Ross, Simmons, Craig A. Introductory Biomechanics: From Cells to Organisms, Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

At the end of the semester, the examination is taken in written form (90 min).
It consists of a part of short questions and a part of calculations, which together test the understanding of particular phenomena in biomechanics and the ability to formulate suitable biomechanical models. For example, students should demonstrate that they can identify the relevant physical effects and derive from them a mathematical description of the biology that is as simple as possible and that they have mastered the concept of homogenisation of tissue properties in the field of structural mechanics and, in fluid mechanics, the essential steps for dimensional reduction of flows in the bloodstream and lungs.
Allowed tool for the exam:
Short questions part: none
Calculation part: all aids except electronic devices may be used, use of a calculator is permitted.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam in the following semester.

Current exam dates

Currently TUMonline lists the following exam dates. In addition to the general information above please refer to the current information given during the course.

Biomechanics - Fundamentals and Modeling
Top of page