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Study on mechanical properties of human tissues

We are currently studying the mechanical properties of the sternum and skull. The skull is a protective cavity for the brain, and the sternum protects the lungs, heart, and major blood vessels from thoracic trauma. Therefore, fatal complications are likely to arise when these bones are fractured. The bone samples are extracted during autopsy and the bending strength of the samples are measured using bending tests with a three-point-bending apparatus (Figure). Then the mechanical properties of the samples are investigated using data collected from these bending tests. We would like to examine the strength of other bones in the future. In addition, we think the mechanical properties of other human tissues such as the skin, dura mater, and pericardium should be assessed. Our aim is to calculate the direction and severity of external forces with the findings of the tissue changes for forensic investigations.

Suguru Torimitsu, M.D.