By Prof. Varadhan   |   IIT Madras
Learners enrolled: 164
This course introduces Biomechanics to students from all backgrounds in engineering. The course builds a foundation in mechanics, introduces biological terminology and builds on this foundation to introduce static analysis, postural analysis and gait analysis. Further, this course discusses mechanics of biomaterials – both hard and soft tissues. Advanced concepts like Visco-elastic properties of soft tissues are also discussed. The course uses a novel pedagogical approach, the learner centric MOOC (LCM) approach

INTENDED AUDIENCE: B.E./B.Tech (Biomedical Engg) students, M.E./M.Tech (Biomedical Engg) students, MS/Ph.D. (Biomedical Engg) students

PREREQUISITES: High school physics & mathematics. Kindly note that this course does NOT assume knowledge of Engg Mechanics and Strength of Materials.
Course Status : Upcoming
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 23 Jan 2023
End Date : 14 Apr 2023
Exam Date : 29 Apr 2023 IST
Enrollment Ends : 30 Jan 2023
Category :
  • Biological Sciences & Bioengineering
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1: Introductory Mechanics – Statics and Dynamics – Basic Principles.
Week 2: The human body as a biomechanical system – basic terminologies
Week 3: Kinematics of muscles and joints - free-body diagrams and equilibrium, forces and stresses in joints
Week 4: Biomechanical analysis of joints of upper limb - Shoulder, Elbow, wrist, hand and fingers
Week 5: Upper limb as a mechanical system – analysis of reaching as movement of a multi-link serial chain – forward kinematics, analysis of fingertip forces as a parallel manipulator
Week 6: Biomechanical analysis of joints – Spine, Hip, Knee, Ankle.
Week 7: Introduction to Postural stability and Gait analysis.
Week 8: Gait analysis in health and disease - basics.
Week 9: Mechanics of Hard Tissues - Definition of Stress and Strain, Deformation Mechanics, structure and mechanical properties of bone - cortical and cancellous bones, Wolff’s law of bone remodeling;
Week 10: Soft Tissues - Structure, functions, material properties – tendon function, elasticity in a tendon, models of non-linear elasticity in a tendon – physiological and non-physiological regimes, Davis’ law of soft tissue remodeling.
Week 11: Visco-elastic properties of soft tissues, Models of visco-elasticity: Maxwell & Voight models.
Week 12: Basic Biofluid mechanics - Flow properties of blood in the intact human cardiovascular system.

Books and references

1.David A. Winter, Biomechanics and Motor Control of Human Movement .
2.Margareta Nordin and Victor H. Frankel, Basic Biomechanics of the Musculoskeletal System.
3.Francisco Valero-Cuevas, Fundamentals of Neuromechanics.
4.Susan Hall, Basic Biomechanics.
5.Irving Hermann, Physics of Human Body.

Instructor bio

Prof. Varadhan

IIT Madras
Dr. Varadhan SKM is an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engg at IIT Madras. His research interests are in the area of Neural control of movements, Motor learning, and Dexterous object manipulation in the presence of static and dynamic perturbations (See website for more details). He teaches courses on Biomechanics, Neuromechanics, Engg Mechanics, Biomedical Instrumentation, Quantitative Physiology.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 29 April 2023 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

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