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  • Location : Lyon, France
Last update 2011-08-29 12:01:10.692

Hélène Follet PhD Biomechanics, FEA and Bone Quality

Course and current status



Helene C. Follet, PhD  

Research Scientist, INSERM U1033

French Institute of Health and Medical Research

EDUCATION/TRAINING (Begin with baccalaureate or other initial professional education, such as nursing, and include postdoctoral training.)



(if applicable)

(USA equivalent)



Rouen, France

Baccalauréat E



Mathematics & Techniques

Rouen, France


Associate degree


Industrials Product designer

University of Rouen, Rouen, France


Associate degree


Mathematics & Informatics




Bachelor with Honors



University of Paris 12, Paris, France

DEA National

Master degree



National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA), Lyon, France




Mechanics / Biomechanics


Assistant scientist



Dept. Anatomy & Cell Biology, Pr. D.B. Burr, Indianapolis, USA

Post -Doctorat

Research fellow



Inserm U403, Pr. PD Delmas, Lyon, France

Post -Doctorat

Research fellow

2005 - 2007


Inserm U831, Pr. R. Chapurlat, Lyon, France

Inserm U1033, Pr. P. Clézardin, Lyon, France

Chercheur CDD

Chercheur CR1

Research Scientist

Senior Research Scientist

2007- 2011

20011- Actual


Biomechanics- Bone Quality

Scientific summary

A. Research activities:

Scientific and technical program, project management

The purpose of this project is to determine on human bone respectively the influence on bone strength (Figure 1) of a number of different extrinsic determinants, such as mass, geometry, micro-architecture, bone turnover, the accumulation of microcracks, but also the intrinsic material properties of the tissue as the degree of mineralization of bone and the organic matrix characteristics (orientation and chemical structure of the collagen fibers) as well as the apoptosis of osteocytes (Seeman and Delmas 2006).

Presently, little is known about the interaction between several bone characteristics, including the micro-architecture, the microhardness, the degree of mineralization, the amount and type of collagen cross-links, and microcracks in human bone. Several questions are still unanswered: does the orientation/location of the microcracks contribute to their effect on bone biomechanical properties? What is the interaction between collagen composition and microcrack formation (i.e., are there differences in microcracks generation depending on the maturity of the matrix, or does the location of microcracks depend on the spatial distribution of collagen types/cross-links).

In view of these key observations on the potential role of the intrinsic determinants of bone quality, our overall questions are to know:

 1) whether the accumulation of microcracks contributes significantly to age-related increase in vertebral fragility,

2) how the occurrence, type and extent of microcracks is determined by the other parameters of bone quality, i.e., its micro-architecture, mineral characteristics, and collagen properties.


 PhD: Biomechanics characterization and Finite Element Modeling by µCT and high RMN from calcaneus cancellous bone: Fracture risk assessment

PhD online: http://tel.ccsd.cnrs.fr/documents/archives0/00/00/31/45/index_fr.html

 Thematic: Microcracks, FEA, Imaging, Degree of Mineralization, mechanical bone strength.

Publications : H Factor: 5 ; 12 publications in international review with referee with 8 in 1st author, , 15 publications of international meeting with referee, 19 international meeting with referee, 6 French meeting with referee, 4 French meeting without referee, 2 dissertations.

  B. Teaching activity

 1999-2003 : 386 hours of practice à l’INSA en 3ème et 4ème année de GMC (Génie Mécanique & Construction) et GEN (Génie Energétique et Environnement). Mise en place d’un nouveau TP de 4ème année de GMC.


1999-2002 : « Projet de fin d’études »: 5 étudiants de l’INSA en 5ème année + 2 stagiaires.Master : 2 étudiants de l’INSA.

2004-2005 : 2 American students, in Master of Biology.

2006 : 2 master students from University of Grenoble, in Master Mechanics.

2007 : 1 master student: INSA in Mechanics

2009 : 1 master student INSA in Mechanics (Mechanics Characterization of bone by AFM). 1 Master student  in BioMechanics (Mechanics Characterization of stents).

2010 : 1 Master student INSA in BioMechanics (AFM, Microradiography & nanoindentation)

2007-2010: 1 PhD student. MEGA (Mechanics – Electronic - Génie Civil – Acoustique).

 Research Society :

Member of American Society of Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) – (2005).

Member of French Society of biomechanics (SFB) – (2006).

Member of European Society of biomechanics (ESB) – (2005).

 Honors and distinctions.

 -1991 : Award of  the calling female scientific and technical.

-1999 : Merit scholarship for the preparation of my national master of Biomechanics.

-2007 : Award of  the GRIO (Group research and information on osteoporosis).

-2007 : Funding for a PhD student during 3 years + Operating Budget (30 000 euros).

-2007 : PI for the PhD.

-2008 : Funding for a scanner with mechanical cell load (50 000 euros).


Image d’exemple