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Welcome to the Bone Biomechanics Lab at Winthrop University!

The Bone Biomechanics Lab

My lab study cortical and trabecular bone tissues. Current main research areas fall into the following categories: the structure of bone, bone biomechanics, and bone adaptation to load. I address these topics using several tools:

  1. A Universal Testing Machine (Instron 5942, Instron ©) to test whole bones and bone samples in compression and tension (measuring their strength stiffness and toughness).
  2. Creating 3D computer models (Amiara ©) from micro-CT scans which will then be tested in-silico using Finite element Analysis software (Strand7 ©).
  3. 3D printing the same computer models (ProJet 1200, 3D systems ©) and mechanically testing them in various ways to learn their structural properties.

These three approaches, combined together, can help us achieve new understanding of bone tissue structure-function relation which in turn can improve our ability to diagnose and treat various bone pathologies (e.g. osteoporosis, bone-implant interphase, etc.).

VOI MCIII Distal radius

Dr. Meir Barak

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I received my bachelor degree (B.Sc) in animal science and my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from The Hebrew University (Rehovot, Israel). I worked in several small animal clinics (my passion is orthopedics) and then switched to part time and returned to academia. I received my Ph.D. in bone biomechanics and my teaching certificate (biology teacher for high schools) from the Weizmann institute of Science. During my Ph.D. my research focused on the relation between trabecular bone structure and whole bone mechanical function in femora and vertebrae of rats. Next, I moved to the US and started a joint Postdoc position at Harvard University's Department of Human Evolutionary Biology (Cambridge, MA) and The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig, Germany). There, I did research on extinct hominins bipedal locomotion (Australopithecines) and its manifestation in the structure of the ankle's trabecular bone. In 2012, I became a teaching fellow at Harvard University and later I accepted a lecturer position. I taught the labs for “Life Science 2” (anatomy and physiology) and my own course - “Bone Biology and Biomechanics”. In 2013, I accepted an Assistant Professor position at Winthrop University (Rock Hill, SC) and started to teach during Fall semester 2013. At Winthrop I teach “Human Anatomy” (lectures and labs), “The Biology of Bone” (lectures and labs), and other undergraduate and graduate courses (both for Biology and non-Biology majors).

Dr. Meir M Barak

Dr. Meir Barak

Current projects

The effect of Staphylococcus aureus infection on the stiffness of cortical bone.
Ariel Kunde

The effect of thinned trabeculae on cancellous bone mechanical properties - A 3D printed model study.
Arielle Black

Mechanical properties of tibial mid-diaphysis cortical bone in male/female and young/old mice.
Jack Nguyen


Recent publications

J.W. Barrera, A. Le Cabec and M.M. Barak. The orthotropic elastic properties of fibrolamellar bone tissue in juvenile white-tailed deer femora. Journal of anatomy. 229(4):568-76 (2016) DOI: 10.1111/joa.12500

M.M. Barak, E. Sherratt, D.E. Lieberman. Trabecular orientation in the 3rd metacarpal head of humans and chimps reveals their difference in locomotion behavior. American Journal Physical Anthropology 159(S62):86 (2016).