Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Basic Biomechanics

Basic Biomechanics
Second semester
Main language of instruction: Spanish

Other languages of instruction: Catalan, English

Teaching staff


Biomechanics studies the function of the human body, body segments, organs and cells an from a mechanical point of view, combining engineering, anatomy, fisiology and other disciplines in one.

Pre-course requirements



  1. To understand and apply basic concepts of biomechanics.
  2. To know the structure and function of human tissues and articular motion.
  3. To study the tissues and joints movements.
  4. To know the structure and movements of the human spine.
  5. To know the function and movements of the human gait


  • CB2 - Students must know how to apply their knowledge to their work or vocation in a professional way and have the competences that are demonstrated through the creation and defence of arguments and the resolution of problems within their field of study.
  • CB3 - Students must have the ability to bring together and interpret significant data (normally within their area of study) and to issue judgements that include a reflection on important issues that are social, scientific or ethical in nature.
  • CE2 - To know how to apply the basic concepts of mechanics and biomechanics to resolve problems that are specific to the field of Bioengineering.
  • CE7 - To know how to recognise anatomy and physiology when applied to the structures Bioengineering involves.
  • CG4 - To resolve problems based on initiative, be good at decision-making, creativity, critical reasoning and communication, as well as the transmission of knowledge, skills and prowess in the field of Bioengineering
  • CG5 - To undertake calculations, valuations, appraisals, expert reports, studies, reports, work plans and other similar tasks.
  • CT3 - To know how to communicate learning results to other people both verbally and in writing, and well as thought processes and decision-making; to participate in debates in each particular specialist areas.
  • CT4 - To be able to work as a member of an interdisciplinary team, whether as a member or by management tasks, with the aim of contributing to undertaking projects based on pragmatism and a feeling of responsibility, taking on commitment while bearing the resources available in mind.
  • CT6 - To detect gaps in your own knowledge and overcome this through critical reflection and choosing better actions to broaden your knowledge.

Learning outcomes

The course should enable the student to:

  • understand the the biomechanical aspects of human tissues and articulations related to motion.
  • understand basic vocabulary of the field.
  • be able to apply engineering aspects to the biological system.
  • be familar with scientific approaches being able to discuss and argue in a scientific manner.
  • knowing basic means of information gathering.
  • be able to relate aspects of physics to the human body and the environment.




1  Introduction and motivation

    1.1 Motivation and description of the course

    1.2 Application overview

    1.3 Introduction to biomechanics

2  Biomechanics of bones and muscles

    2.1 Biomechanics of bones

    2.2 Biomechanics of muscles

3  Biomechanics of cartilage and tendons

    3.1 Biomechanics of cartilage

    3.2 Biomechanics of tendons

4  Biomechanics of lower joints

    4.1 Hip

    4.2 Knee

    4.3 Ankle and foot

5  Biomechanics of upper joints

    5.1 Shoulder

    5.2 Elbow

    5.3 Wrist and hand

6  Biomechanics of the spine

7  The human gait

    7.1 Physiological gait

    7.2 Pathological gait

8  Applications in biomechanics

    8.1 Ergonomic concepts

    8.2 Introduction to implant design

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

The final grade of the course will be calculated as follows:


20% Midterm exam. Individual test.

30% Final Exam. Individual test.

40% Project. Group work.

10% Participation in class, practical sessions, small assignments.


In order to pass the course, a 5.0 needs to be achieved in the total calculation as well as an average of both individual exams.

In case of not reaching a 5.0 averaged between the individual exams, a student may attend the 2nd call of the final exam. In this case, the result of this exam will represent 100% of the individual exams, therefore 50% of the final grade.


Bibliography and resources


Nordin M, Frandel VH. Basic biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system. 3 ed. U.S.A.:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2001. *Traducido como: Biomecànica bàsica del sistema musculoesquelético, por: McGraw-Hill / Interamericana d'Espanya, SA (2004).

Müller B, Wolf S. Handbook of human motion. Springer 2018. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-14418-4


Hall, SJ. Basic Biomechanics. 7 ed. New York: McGraw-Hill (2012).

Dufour M, Pillu M. Biomecànica functional. Barcelona: Masson; 2006.

Knudson D. Fundamentals of Biomechanics. 2nd ed. New York: Springer; 2012.