We are happy to present the spring news of the European Society for Biomechanics to you. Unfortunately, like many things, heavily influenced by Covid–19. As usual, all members are welcome to actively contribute information to this newsletter and to the ESB website in general. Let me know of anything of general interest, scientific articles, advertisements, upcoming meetings or particular items of discussion.
Dieter Pahr, Chair of the Publication Committee
From the President
I am writing my last President’s letter and it is special not only for being the last one but mainly because we are living exceptional times right now. This Covid-19 pandemic is changing our standards. Our lives are changing, the way we carry out our work, and our annual meetings too. Hopefully, the situation will make us stronger and we will come out as better persons and scientists.
Click read more for news about our next ESB conference and tribute to Stephan M. Perren.
Maria Angeles Pérez Ansón, ESB President
Given the serious nature of the growing Covid-19 pandemic, the ESB2020 Organizing Committee and the ESB Council have made the decision to
Postpone ESB2020 to July 2021
We have secured the same venue (Politecnico di Milano) for the ESB2021 congress that will occur from July 11-14, 2021. Please save the date for next year.
- Awards: The ESB Council will organize the presentation of some awards in webinars, 13-14 July 2020. Details are given in the “Awards” section.
- Perspectives talks: Perspectives talks can be retained for next year, provided that the speakers explicitly confirm their attendance to ESB2021. For those who decide not to attend, we can offer the option to use the ESB YouTube channel.
- Abstracts: Classical abstracts will have to be resubmitted through the portal starting from October 2020. Authors can modify their abstract with new data, but all abstracts will be handled as new ones and will go through a new revision process.
Next ESB conferences, save the dates!
Following the previous modification, the congress in Maastricht has been postponed from 2021 to 2023. Many thanks to the Maastricht team for their flexibility!
Save the Date ESB 2022: Porto
In 2022 the 27th Congress of ESB will be held in Porto, Portugal. The congress will take place at the Alfandega Porto Congress Center, situated in the heart of Porto´s historic city centre, from 26-29 June 2022.
Save the Date ESB 2023: Maastricht
In 2023 the 28th Congress of ESB will be held in Maastricht, the Netherlands. The congress will take place at the MECC Convention Center, situated just outside the city center, from 9-12 July 2023. ESBiomech2023 will be jointly organized by three renowned universities in close proximity to each other: Eindhoven University of Technology, KU Leuven, and the University of Liege.
The meetings endorsed by ESB do not only cover a research area of interest to biomechanicians, they also provide reduced registration fees for ESB members!
5th Virtual Physiological Human Summer School
8-12 June 2020
ESB members will pay the same reduced registration fees as VPH members (150 euros instead of 250 euros for the whole week).
9-11 September 2020
ESB members will receive a 20% reduction on registration fees.
13th International Conference BIOMDLORE 2020
22-24 October 2020
ESB members will receive a 20% reduction on registration fees.
5-6 November 2020
ESB members will receive a 20% reduction on registration fees.
Other meeting announcements
TERMIS EU 2020 (European Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society 2020)
26-29 May 2020
Manchester Central Conference Center, UK
14-15 September 2020
2021 Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering, and Biotransport Conference (SB3C 2021)
13-16 June 2021
Vail, Colorado, USA
David Mitton, Chair of the Meetings Committee
Awards of the ESB during this strange 2020 season
The awards are one of the most important ways of the European Society of Biomechanics to acknowledge scientific excellence, and to share knowledge with the members. The awards are also a means of encouraging and promoting excellence in the earliest phases of the career of our youngest members, even as students. In fact, the European Society of Biomechanics uses over 50% of the yearly turnover for the different grants and awards. Even if this year we were forced to cancel our yearly Congress, we decided to preserve as much as possible our awards. In fact, we feel we should still support our most outstanding junior and senior members, despite this sad situation. For this reason, we decided to deliver the award sessions in form of webinars, during the days when we were hoping to meet each other in Milan. We trust that this will help us keep in touch in these difficult times. So, keep the days 13-14 July booked in your agenda for some great award-webinars! More details will follow.
Click read more for news on the SM Perren Award, Best Doctoral Thesis, Clinical Biomechanics Award, Student Award, Best Poster Award, and Travel Award.
Luca Cristofolini , Vice President of the ESB and Chair of the Awards Committee
These are extraordinary weeks and months in which the corona-virus/Covid-19 is penetrating in all aspects of our society and affecting our daily life. The ESB cannot escape this. As can be read elsewhere in this Newsletter one major consequence is that, for the first time ever, our annual meeting had to be cancelled. Whereas we will mostly miss the scientific presentations and interactions with colleagues, the cancellation will affect the income of the society, too. With no ESB conference this year, the society will lack the contribution of the conference towards the ESB society. On the other hand, several ESB Awards will not be granted this year, such that expenditure will be reduced to some extent. Another measure affecting the income of the society is the decision that no fee will be charged for ESB membership in 2021 for every member in good standing in 2020; you will find more information in the Membership Section of this Newsletter. All taken together, these measures affect our finances this year, as well as next year, with an expected deficit of around 10’000 euros. Our society can handle this. The ESB is a society with a healthy financial status, and this small deficit will not change that.
At the time of this newsletter, just over 50% of our society members are in good standing, having paid their membership dues for 2020. Thank you to all who have paid. For those who have not yet paid, please consider this a gentle reminder to log onto the esbiomech.org webpage to pay your dues. Note that payment now will cover your membership for 2020 and you will get 2021 for free! PayPal is the preferred method of payment as this is quick and easy (Payment via PayPal updates your membership status instantaneously). Alternatively, it is possible to pay by bank transfer (please do not forget to include your surname and payment ID to ensure your payment is not lost). Remember that only members in good standing qualify for a reduction in the registration fee for the ESB2021 conference in Milan, among other benefits.
Several members have requested a receipt for their payment. This is possible directly from your own individual member page. After logging onto esbiomech.org and navigating to your member page, you will find a list of all payments that you have made and a link beside each to produce a printable receipt. If you require a specific address on the invoice for reimbursement (i.e. your business address), then you are encouraged to update your personal details to include the correct address as your primary contact. You may also include an alternative address with your profile and choose at any time to which address your correspondence will be sent.
Harry van Lenthe, ESB Treasurer, Leuven, Belgium
ESB Education and Student Committee
ESB Mobility Award 2020
As every year, the Student Committee calls for ESB Mobility Award applications, and the deadline for the 2020 edition has been extended to June 30th.
The award consists in a cost-of-living allowance of 4.000 € that gives ESB students and early researchers the opportunity to spend from two to six months abroad under the supervision of an ESB member research. It is a unique opportunity, don’t miss it!
This year there are at least three awards available for 2020 on a competitive basis: at least two awards for PhD students or postdocs maximum one year after receiving their PhD degree; at least one award for postdocs between 2 and 5 years after receiving their PhD degree.
Check the details about eligibility and application here: https://esbiomech.org/student-section/esb-mobility-award/
ESB Webinar series
In 2019 we have started a new ESB Webinar series dedicated to open source software for biomechanical applications:
No.01 – Learn how to use SimVascular – by Mr Gabriel Maher
No.02 – Jumping into Musculoskeletal Modeling with OpenSim – by Dr Jennifer Hicks
No.03 (Co-organised with the student committee of the VPHi, hosted by VPHi) – High-throughput Multicellular Simulation Studies with PHYSICELL – by Prof Paul Macklin
No.04 (Co-organised with the student committee of the VPHi, hosted by ESB) – FEBio, a Nonlinear Finite Element Solver for Biomechanics – by Dr Steve Maas
Recordings of all webinars can be visualised by subscribing to the ESB You Tube channel:
Don’t forget to check our social networks where we post the latest news and job offers:
-Facebook students (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ESBiomech.Students/),
-Twitter (https://twitter.com/ESBiomech). If you have published any papers in biomechanics and would like ESB to retweet and like your tweets please add @ESBiomech in them!
Contact us (https://esbiomech.org/student-section/) if you have any job to be advertised.
Enrico Dall’Ara, Chair of the Education and Student Committee
ESB Membership update
With 169 new members since the last newsletter, by late October 2019, the ESB has a total of 1529 regular members; 831 Active Members, 622 Student Members, 8 Corporate Members and 68 Senior and Honorary Members. With 97 additional members, the Student Member collective is the one that grew the most, followed by the Active Members collective, with 69 new members. Such an outcome is a fantastic sign that the ESB is successfully building an appealing professional ecosystem for early researchers. Remarkably, our student members are currently 40% women, meaning that gender balance within the youngest generations of ESB researchers has achieved the goal of parity set by the European H2020 programme for the collective of scientific experts at the doctoral level.
While the ESB seeks to actively support early carrier development through different awards and mobility programmes, among other activities such as workshops and webinars, numbers show that our society is not less appealing for senior researchers. As they share high-level expertise and experience, ESB senior researchers are the main drivers of our community, promoting the growth of excellence, innovation and multidisciplinary research in many different areas where biomechanics plays an important role. Importantly, their work also inspires our junior researchers who stand for the future of our community.
Membership news for 2021 as a response to COVID-19 pandemic
Given the perturbations of the ESB services to the community caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Council has decided that all paying members (Active, Students and Corporate), in good standing in 2020, will have their 2021 membership automatically covered.
Corporate Member news
Since 2005, Materialise supports researchers and their cutting-edge work through the Mimics Innovation Awards. With this competition, we recognize some of the industry’s most recent and important achievements. Materialise is committed to making the world a better and healthier place through Engineering on Anatomy. We are proud that leading researchers use Materialise Mimics software to achieve the same goal.
The deadline for the 2020 award was March 15th, 2020. Winners will be given the opportunity to present their work during a webinar that is promoted through highly visited Materialise channels. In addition, Materialise will sponsor the paper for publication upon peer-review in Springer’s 3D Printing in Medicine journal. For its 30th anniversary, Materialise is inviting the winners Materialise World Summit plus a monetary prize will be offered to further their research, regardless of the discipline. The Mimics Innovation Award is open to Researchers within universities, hospitals, medical device companies and research centers who use MaterialiseMimics software.
AMTI OPENS EUROPE OFFICE: As an established and reputable manufacturer of Biomechanical Multi-Axis Force Measuring Platforms, Instrumented Treadmills, Industrial Force Sensors and Multi-Axis Joint Simulators, AMTI is proud to expand our presence in the European market with the opening of our newest office in Heidelberg, Germany. From this location we are able to offer sales and technical services to our customers and partners throughout the European market using a more efficient and personal approach. Our European office is run by Dr. Robert Sonntag, a Biomechanical Engineer with over ten years of experience as an AMTI user while part of the Biomechanics Group of the Heidelberg University Hospital. Please feel free to contact Robert at
AMTI Europe GmbH
Phone +49 (0) 7263 6009003
Wishing all of you a healthy time and looking forward to seeing you soon again!
Robert Sonntag, for the AMTI team
BETA CAE Systems
Discover how ANSA pre-processor is used for the generation of patient-specific FE-Models in a repeatable and parametric manner: The prediction of the mechanical behavior of human bones is of great interest to both the medical and engineering fields. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is widely employed for simulating mechanical bone response since it allows for the quantification of internal and surface stress and strain distributions that cannot be obtained by experimental techniques.
Although using Finite Element (FE) models offers the advantage of simulating different load scenarios at a much lower cost than the corresponding experimental methods, the required time and effort are considerable and they should be further reduced. Each bone is unique, so the generated models are personalized, known as patient-specific FE models. High repeatability and parametric studies are among other advantages of patient-specific FE models. There are many studies in the literature concerning the application of FEA, but it is still a challenge to further automate the process of generating the models targeting an effective clinical application.
The ANSA pre-processor can help overcome the challenges of the generation of patient-specific FE models in a fast, repeatable and parametric manner. Validated and “ready to run” models are reused via their adaptation to geometric data of the new subject of study with the aid of advanced tools for mesh morphing and mesh improvement. This adaptation does not refer only to geometries but to the complete set of items that constitute the “loadcase” such as initial and boundary conditions, maintaining in such way the “ready to run” status of the models. Additionally, the entire process can be automated with the aid of Python scripts, increasing the overall speed to unprecedented levels.
For more information please follow the link: https://www.beta-cae.com/pdf/202003_esb_poster.pdf
Annual Hall of Fame Competition: Two computational biomechanical studies among the Top 3 Academic Winners “Best in Class” of the Ansys Hall of Fame Competition 2020:
- Politecnico di Milano, Italy
By simulating the membrane, valves and fluid dynamics in an artificial ventricle using Ansys Fluent and Ansys LS-DYNA, researchers developed a computational model able to accurately reproduce the blood flow inside the left chamber of a total artificial heart, together with the displacement of the aortic and mitral valves and the membrane. Results from fluid–structure interaction simulations led to realistic analysis of the motion of the valve leaflets and membrane.
- University of Rome “Tor Vergata,” Italy
Moving the wall boundaries of a fluid domain during a CFD simulation is still a big challenge, particularly for cardiovascular applications. Engineers used Ansys Fluent, Ansys Mechanical and RBF Morph to perform cardiovascular simulation with moving walls and applied it to the fluid–structure interaction analysis of a custom valve coupled with patient data. They developed a high-fidelity, fast and accurate way to bring simulation into the clinic.
Ansys Commitment during the COVID-19 pandemic: To help alleviate some of the network congestion that occurs with simulation-intensive design analyses, Ansys is offering professional and academic customers a series of customer programs to improve the productivity of engineers and designers who are working remotely.
Let Ansys help to power your remote simulation needs. Whether you need remote access our software, expanded cloud computing capacity, or on-demand training, please complete the form to the right of this page and your account manager will contact you to discuss specific solutions.
During this unprecedented time, when so many are experiencing connectivity or computing capacity challenges, Ansys is proud to stand by our customers and help them continue to develop products that will change the world.
Jérôme Noailly, Chair of the Membership Committee
ESB National Chapters & External Affairs News
News from the ESB National Chapters
Spanish Chapter (CAP-ESB)
The 9th meeting of the CAP-ESB was held at the Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on 24-25 October 2019. During this meeting the new Executive Board of the Chapter was elected and the results were:
- Alejandro Yánez Santana (University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria): President
- Rosa Pàmies Vilà (Polytechnic University of Catalonia)
- Francisco Romero Sánchez (University of Extremadura)
Furthermore, the annual meeting of the Spanish Network of Excellence in Biomechanics was hosted by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), Barcelona, Spain, on February 19th, 2020. It included presentations from the different Spanish research groups in Biomechanics, covering tissue, organ, musculoskeletal, multiscale, experimental, computational and clinical biomechanics. The webpage of the Network was presented, and the sponsoring of the 5th VPH Summer School was officially announced.
Alejandro Yánez Santana and Jérôme Noailly, on behalf of the CAP-ESB
The ESB congress in Vienna has given a boost to the Austrian chapter of the ESB, in terms of both interest and membership.
The Austrian chapter of the ESB is planning a meeting at the Paracelsus University in Salzburg, organized by the team of Prof. Peter Augat; originally foreseen for May 14/15, 2020. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, this physical meeting is postponed; a new date will be discussed once the kinetics of the pandemic becomes better known.
In the meantime, the Austrian chapter is exploring means of IT-based interactions in times of the COVID-19 crisis, and correspondingly plans to have a videomeeting in the weeks to come. In this meeting, the Austrian chapter will explore ways of how its biomechanical knowhow may be fruitfully used in the context of the current crisis, and beyond.
Christian Hellmich, on behalf of the Austrian Chapter of the ESB.
Italian Chapter (ESB-ITA)
The general meeting of the national chapter, planned to be held within the ESB congress in Milan, is clearly postponed due to the coronavirus emergency. On the other hand, the organization is on-going for the next Thematic Symposium “Biomechanics in and for Hospitals”, to be held in Massa. Further information will follow once final decisions on dates and format will be possible.
In terms of past activities, ESB-ITA has endorsed the International Advanced School in Modelling and Simulations in Biomechanics and Mechanobiology, held in Rome from February 24th to 28th. The school has hosted around 50 students from all over the world, providing them an insight from basic concepts to advanced research topics on: imaging (Cristiana Corsi), hard tissue biomechanics (Zohar Yosibash), soft tissue biomechanics (Chritian Gasser), fluid biomechanics (Roberto Verzicco), and cell mechanobiology (Vikram Deshpande).
Michele Marino, on behalf of the ESB-ITA.
News from the ESB Affiliated Societies
International Society for Biofabrication (ISBF)
In March 2020, the ESB and the International Society for Biofabrication (ISBF) started a strategic alliance. Biofabrication is a relatively recent multidisciplinary field that focuses on using a large tool box of 3D Printing-based and biological building blocks assembly fabrication strategies, to engineer living tissues and organs. Such biofabricated biological constructs find applications in regenerative medicine and as personalised in vitro 3D test models. The two societies will join forces to explore the biomechanical issues associated with biofabricated materials, including new trends in digital design technologies to design and manufacture of biological systems. As a direct manifestation of the ongoing enticing advancements in Biofabrication, biomechanics and emerging IT technologies, the ESB-ISBF alliance will support the development of more complex and biomimicking solutions by understanding the fundamental mechanobiological pathways at the base of tissue development and maturation.
During the next annual congress of the International Society for Biofabrication that has been postponed to 26-29 September, 2021, in Wollongong, Australia, both societies will organise the first joint symposium on Biomechanics of Bioprinted materials. Make sure to mark this date in your calendar!
We are excited to start this collaboration and hope other joint activities will follow soon. Stay tuned.
Lorenzo Moroni and Miguel Castilho, on behalf of the ISBF.
Virtual Physiological Human Institute (VPHi)
The next VPH Conference should be held on August 26th-28th, 2020, in Paris, France. A record number of high-quality abstracts has been submitted letting envision thrilling sessions in computational biomechanics, among others VPH thematic. The VPHi has also published several calls for awards, dedicated to early carrier researchers:
Furthermore, the VPHi has launched In Silico To Fight COVID-19, a call for individuals that have expertise in modelling and simulation useful in combatting the COVID-19. This expertise will be made available to any organisations (i.e: IMI, EFPIA, EMA) that can use our expertise to fight the current crisis.
Martina Contin and Jérôme Noailly, on behalf of the VPHi
Jérôme Noailly, Chair of the Membership Committee