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Biomechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is applied to medical treatments. Our goal is not only to cure diseases but also it to recover the original function of human body and the quality of life.

We have developed technology for detecting articular cartilage diseases by means of ultrasound at early stage and technology to regeneration of functional articular cartilage. Moreover, we have been studying about low-wear artificial joints, which are made of various kinds of ceramic.

We develop technology and device for intra-vascular and endoscopic treatments for arteriosclerosis and aneurysm without necessity of incision. This method allows early diagnoses and it is a minimally invasive treatment.

In our field of research, biomechanical engineering, it is important to combine medical sciences with mechanical engineering for the good development of research. In our laboratory, we collaborate with many researchers in different fields of research.

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Academic Staff

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Toshihiro TOGAYA

Assistant Professor (Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences)

Researches

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Research Topics

Ultrasonic evaluation of mechanical properties of articular cartilage

In the pos-treatment examination, evaluation of articular cartilage defects or diseases is realized with arthroscopy. However, the technique request some condition that must be considered : 

  1. Avoidance of damage in the articular cartilage;
  2. Short time to measurement;
  3. Reduced size of the probe.

In addition to that, as articular cartilage has mechanical function in order to support loadings, it is essential to evaluate its mechanical properties without to touch its structure, that is, the articular cartilage surface. The ultrasonic method developed by our laboratory satisfies these conditions.

With ultrasonic method, we can evaluate functional properties of articular cartilage intuitively using wavelet transformation, which enable time-frequency analysis.

Figure 1  Operation with arthroscopy

Figure 2  Typical wavelet map of reflected ultrasound echo

Navigation system for minimally invasive medical devices using magnetic fields

Nowadays more and more minimally invasive medical devices are being used for various medical treatments. On the other hand, highly advanced technique and skill are required for operators.
The aim of this study is to develop a system for detecting position and orientation of the tip of a catheter using magnetic fields. This system allows to realize more accurate operation and safety therapy.

In addition to position sensing, we are planning to develop a system for navigation of medical devices to a diseased part inside body automatically.  

Figure 3  Image of the system with magnetic sensors for detecting position and orientation of the tip of a catheter

Figure 4  Monitor displaying position and orientation of the tip of a Catheter

Evaluation of the mechanical properties of Stent

A stent is a small tube-like device that is used to support the walls of the blood vessels. Stent implantation is a method to treat stenosis that cause myocardial infarction and stenocardia.
The purpose of our study is to develop stent design more safety and efficient. Therefore , we measure the mechanical properties of stent and optimize stent design using computational simulation with finite element method(FEM).

Figure 5  Expansion of stents

Figure 6  A stent model for FEM analysis