Title:Elastic waves in soft matter
Prof. Michel Destrade
Dept. of Applied Mathematics, National University of Ireland
Biological soft tissues and soft gels are difficult to study and model mathematically. Bioengineers often see tissues as engineering materials and try to evaluate their mechanical properties by relying on standard testing protocols, such as tensile testing, simple shear, torsion, etc. These processes are destructive and change the mechanical properties of living tissues considerably. To test tissues non-destructively and non-invasively, we can rely on the propagation of elastic waves. Just like a piano tuner can infer some information simply by tapping a cord while changing its state of stress, we can study the influence of pre-stress on the speed of elastic waves traveling in a soft solid. This idea forms the basis of the theory of acousto-elasticity, which has been used successfully in the past for "hard" elastic solids such as rocks and metals. With this talk, we explore its extension to "soft" elastic solids, which can be subjected to large deformations in service. We look at theoretical, numerical, and experimental results, generated in particular on gels, human skin, and porcine brain matter.
Professor Destrade is Chair of Applied Mathematics at NUI Galway; Adjunct Professor at Zhejiang University and University College Dublin; Directeur de Recherche at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (on leave) and a member of the International Brain Mechanics and Trauma Lab at Oxford University. He is Associate Editor of many prestigious international journals, Reviews Editor for Proceedings of the Royal Society A and Contributing Editor for International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics. He is acknowledged internationally for his active participation in collective articles, graduate courses, special issues, editorial boards and international bodies. In Galway he is involved in a structured effort to make progress in the fields of nonlinear electro-elasticity, acousto-elasticity theory, nonlinear wave theory and their applications to soft tissues and soft dielectrics, with competitive funding (European Commission; Royal Society; British Council; Science Foundation Ireland; Irish Research Council, etc.).