Biomechanics, Biomaterial, and Clinical Application: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


Event details

Date 17.09.2021 12:3013:30  
Speaker Prof. Dominique Pioletti, Institute of Bioengineering, School of Engineering, EPFL, Lausanne (CH)
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
Event Language English

From a recent report of the WHO, approximately 1.71 billion people have musculoskeletal conditions worldwide. These disorders not only affect the quality of life of affected people but in certain cases can be a life-threatening situation. Disorders include osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, fragility or traumatic fractures as well ruptures of soft tissues to mention a few. A common trend between most of the musculoskeletal conditions is a mismatch between the biomechanical properties of the concerned tissues and their mechanical environment. Biomechanical analyses are therefore essential to describe the pathophysiological situation arising in musculoskeletal tissues. These analyses allow us to determine mechanical targets for the development of biomaterials intended to replace damaged tissues. In this talk, I will present the development of a hydrogel family with controllable mechanical and adhesive properties. The tunability of the hydrogels are based on particular considerations of dissipative phenomena arising during their deformation. The obtained hydrogels are used to target different clinical applications. We will therefore be in a position to determine between biomechanics, biomaterials and clinical applications which one is the good, the bad and the ugly.

After undergraduate studies in Physics at EPFL, Dominique Pioletti pursued his education in the same institution and obtained his PhD in biomechanics in 1997. He developed original constitutive laws for soft tissues taking into account viscoelasticity in large deformation situations. Then he spent two years at UCSD (California, USA) as a post-doc fellow and was interested in particular to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to peri-implant osteolysis. He developed at that time the pioneer idea to use orthopedic implants as drug delivery systems and has since proposed different solutions relevant for clinical applications. Since his return to the EPFL, he has combined biomechanical, biological and materials science aspects to develop new solutions for clinical problems related to the musculoskeletal system. In particular, he has co-founded a start-up company ( to translate the development of an injectable hydrogel used to prevent osteoporotic fracture. His research topics include biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system, mechanobiology in bone and cartilage, drug delivery systems for bone and cartilage, and functional tissue engineering. His close collaboration with different hospital departments has resulted in research output oriented toward applications.

Zoom link for attending remotely:


Practical information

  • Informed public
  • Free