Academic Credentials
  • Ph.D., Biomechanics, Institut National des Sciences Appliquees, 2011
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, National Institute of Applied Sci of Lyon, 2007
Professional Honors
  • New Investigator Award, 10th International Symposium on Dental Enamel, 2022
  • Wellcome Trust/MIT fellowship 2012-2017
  • Outstanding Paper Award, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 2013
  • Young Investigator Award, French Society of Mineralized Tissue Biology (SFBTM), 2009 and 2010
Professional Affiliations
  • New England Society for Microscopy (2018-present)
  • French

Dr. Depalle specializes in solid mechanics, structural and mechanical characterization of complex composite materials, tissue biomechanics, custom design of testing instrumentation, and precision sample preparation. He has more than 10 years of experience in bridging numerical simulations and experimental data to characterize mechanical properties of materials. Dr. Depalle has expertise in a range of materials characterization techniques including confocal and electron microscopy (TEM, SEM, FIB), microtomography, mechanical testing (Indentation, AFM). He is an expert in biological sample preparation methods for microscopy and mechanical testing and can provide guidance to minimize sample preparation damage and experimental artifacts. He has  expertise in algorithm design for image acquisition, image processing and data analysis including image segmentation, feature detection and image registration. Dr. Depalle also has a demonstrated expertise in the design and development of customized computer-controlled instrumentation for microscale sample testing and data collection. .

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Depalle was a Principal Investigator at the Forsyth Institute, one of the leading centers for dental and craniofacial research. His research focused on the molecular origins of mechanical properties of the dentin-enamel junction and the role of proteins on the toughness of dental enamel. His work aimed at providing a better understanding of the mechanisms behind the remarkable mechanical properties of tooth enamel to design novel bioinspired materials optimized for strength and toughness. His work led to identifying novel post-eruptive mineralization process in porcine enamel and new micro-level of organization in the hierarchical structure of mouse enamel. Dr. Depalle also designed and built several instruments including a computer-controlled sampling device to collect mineralized tissues samples with sub-micron accuracy using machine control and computer vision and a 3D imaging platform for biological samples.

Dr. Depalle earned his Doctorate in Biomechanics form the National Institute of Applied Sciences of Lyon, France, in 2011 studying the impact of tissue heterogeneity on trabecular bone fragility. His work focused on the assessment of the mechanical properties of human trabecular bone to improve the diagnostic of bone fragility diseases such as osteoporosis. He completed postdoctoral training at both Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Imperial College London on bone nanostructure and modifications induced by bone diseases. His research combined molecular modelling methods with high-resolution electron microscopy and diffraction techniques to identify the nanoscale mechanisms responsible for altering higher-scale mechanical properties in bone. He has developed customized molecular models of bone tissue and new sample preparation protocols for electron-microscopy to minimize electron beam damage and improve contrast in biological samples.