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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

3D printing as a tool to understand trabecular bone mechanical properties (Summer 2018).
Meha Patel

The effect of cortical remodeling on bone stiffness in white-tailed deer proximal humerus (Summer 2018).
Jack Nguyen


Recent publications

A.N. Kunde, V.J. Frost, M.M. Barak. Acute exposure of white-tailed deer cortical bone to Staphylococcus aureus did not result in reduced bone stiffness. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 82:329-37 (2018).

M.M. Barak, M.A. Black. A novel use of 3D printing model demonstrates the effects of deteriorated trabecular bone structure on bone stiffness and strength. Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials 78:455-64 (2018).

M.M. Barak, E. Sherratt, D.E. Lieberman. Using principle trabecular orientation to differentiate joint loading orientation in the 3rd metacarpal heads of humans and chimpanzees. Journal of Human Evolution 113: 173-82 (2017).