1Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia, Spain
Soft tissues within the human body are complex composite materials that contain from 70% to 85% water approximately. Due to their composition and ultrastructure, they have usually low permeability values and may be subject to osmotic pressurizations. These characteristics confer a major role on the interstitial fluid in controlling the tissue mechanical behaviour under both transient and equilibrium load regimes. Moreover, most of the soft connective tissues are avascular and cell nutrition may occur through diffusion phenomena that depend in turn on the consolidation of the hydrated matrix. In some cases, fluid effects were shown also to possibly induce specific cell processes that are essential for proper tissue maintenance. As such, poroelastic models are the basis for advanced explorations of soft tissue biomechanics and biophysics, and this mini-symposium aims to present both the latest advances and issues in coupling poromechanical analyses to soft tissue research.