- Elisabete Silva, Inegi-Feup
- Luyun Chen, University of Michigan
A pelvic floor is a complex group of muscles that exists in both males and females. Pelvic floor muscles have a multitude of functions, one of the most important of which is to help maintain urinary and faecal continence. The close anatomical relationship between the vaginal wall, bladder and rectum often contribute to the emergence of dysfunctions in the adjacent organs, typically coined by the term pelvic floor dysfunction (PFD), mainly including urinary incontinence (UI), pelvic organ prolapse (POP), anal incontinence yet also defection problems, and dyspareunia . Rarely there are some genetic problems that predispose to early presentation or more severe forms of pelvic floor dysfunctions. The next important factors are pregnancy and delivery. During pregnancy, the vaginal wall and pelvic floor organs adapt to the imminent delivery. The largest contributor of both is vaginal delivery that causes direct trauma to the pelvic floor. Also, number of vaginal deliveries has an impact on the later occurrence of PFDs. Later in life, age and menopause may add to the onset or exacerbation of PFDs, and additional interfering pathologies may contribute as well . Despite intensive clinical research efforts, improving rehabilitation, reducing complications, reducing surgeries and complications arising after is slow. Consequently, the development of innovative tools to increase the biomechanical knowledge associated with these conditions may be crucial for effective and viable therapeutic procedures.
Computational Biomechanics is a field that is expanding and developing at remarkable speed. One of the most promising development subjects is the numerical simulation applied to living organs, mainly the biomechanical behaviour of soft tissues . However, for its success, several research topics should be considered like as: image processing and analysis, optimization, geometric modelling, numerical modelling, material modelling, constitutive material laws, experimental methodologies combined with numerical methods, and their applications in real environments must be addressed. For high-level Computational Biomechanics-based tasks are successful, new algorithms have to be continually developed and improved, and expert users, such as physiologists and medical doctors, must evaluate their outputs.
The main goal of the proposed symposium is to attract scientists from a variety of scientific areas, across a broader field of topics and from more diverse geographical locations.
Participants in this symposium should present and discuss their proposed methods in the corresponding fields bringing state of the art and future developments and evaluation in computational biomechanics of female pelvic floor soft tissues, namely: normal female pelvic floor biomechanics different lifetime events; pelvic floor dysfunction; the application computational methods in PFD correction techniques and methods, to reduce postoperative complications and re-operation rate.
This symposium should be an excellent opportunity to refine their ideas for future work and establish possible cooperation. The session's topics are related to computational biomechanics of the female pelvic floor, including:
• Numerical methods applied to soft tissues (FE and Meshless methods);
• Modelling of biological soft tissues;
• Image processing and analysis applied to soft tissues;
• Experimental testing and constitutive models for soft tissue structures;
• Multi-scale modelling of soft tissues.
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 Delancey JO, Kane Low L, Miller JM, Patel DA, Tumbarello JA., "Graphic integration of causal factors of pelvic floor disorders: an integrated life span model," Am J Obstet Gynecol, vol. 199, no. 6, pp. 1-5, 2008.
 Hoyte L and Damaser M, Biomechanics of the Female Pelvic Floor, Second Edition, Academic Press, 2016.