Person details

phone +39 02 2399 4737
email luigi.labarbera@polimi.it
keyboard_voice Voip Call
web Polimi Personal Page
group LaBS - CompBiomech
group LaBS - MeDBioMech

Current position 

  • Assistant Professor and Senior Researcher (field of Industrial Bioengineering) at Dept. Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano
  • Team Leader of Computational Orthopedics and Spine Biomechanics Group (https://www.cmic.polimi.it/en/ricerca/elenco-gruppi-di-ricerca/labs-compbiomech/
  • Lecturer of Experimental Biomechanics and Advanced Modelling in Biomechanics for the Ph.D. in Bioengineering
  • Lecturer of Endoprostheses Design for the Master Degree in Biomedical Engineering
  • Core reviewer in Basic Spine Biomechanics for Eurospine congress, 12-14 October 2022 Milan (https://www.eurospinemeeting.org/milan2022
  • Spine Track Chair for the 26th congress of the European Society of Biomechanics, 11-14 July 2021, Milan (https://esbiomech.org/conference/esb2021/
  • Memberships: European Society of Biomechanics (since 2012), Bioengineering National Group (since 2014), American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) - Committee F04 on Medical and Surgical Materials and Devices (since 2016), Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) and ORS Spine Section (since 2019) 


  • November 2020 – November 2021: Researcher (Law 240/2010, “junior”) in the field of Industrial Bioengineering and Bioengineering (Dept. Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano)
    Projects: “In silico medicine for surgery and industry” (MIUR – FISR 2019)
  • November 2018 – October 2020: Post-doctoral Research Associate (Dept. Mechanical Engineering, Polytechnique Montréal; CHU Sainte-Justine, Université de Montréal; TransMedTech Institute, Canada) in Prof. Carl-Eric Aubin’s group
    Project as Principal Investigator: “Pre-operative planning and optimal instrumentation for the treatment of complex spinal deformities: towards a value-based integrated management approach
  • March 2015 – October 2018: Post-doctoral Research Fellow (Dept. Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano)
    Projects as Principal Investigator: “Biomechanical in vitro comparison of pedicle subtraction osteotomy and anterior column release for severe sagittal imbalance correction” (New Investigator Grant, Scoliosis Research Society, Milwaukee WI, USA), “On the treatment of vertebral metastasis with massive bone lysis: a biomechanical study” (FROM foundation, Bergamo)
  • April 2013 – October 2013: Visiting Ph.D. (Institute of Orthopaedic Research and Biomechanics, Center of Musculoskeletal Research Ulm, Ulm University, Germany) in Prof. Prof. Hans-Joachim Wilke’s group
    Project: “Assessment of the international standards for the preclinical evaluation of posterior spinal implant by means of comparative finite element analysis and experimental testing
  • November 2010 – February 2015: Research fellow (Laboratory of Biological Structure Mechanics, Dept. Chemistry, Materials and Chemical Engineering, Politecnico di Milano)
    Main project: “Investigation on the value of standards for preclinical evaluation of posterior spinal implant through experimentally-validated finite element models” (Scuola Interpolitecnica di Dottorato, Politecnico di Torino, Milano e Bari)


  • March 2015: D. Degree in Biomedical Engineering and Bioengineering (Scuola Interpolitecnica di Dottorato, Politecnico di Torino, Milano e Bari, Italy)
    Dissertation title: “Preclinical evaluation of posterior spinal fixators – Critical assessment of the current international standards and proposals for improvement” (http://hdl.handle.net/10589/109901)
  • July 2010: Master Degree in Biomedical Engineering (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
    Dissertation title: “Viscoelastic behaviour of HXLPE under three-point bending loading
  • September 2007: Bachelor Degree in Biomedical Engineering (Politecnico di Milano, Italy)
    Dissertation title: “Movement monitoring systems: components, applications and experimental tests

Scientific interests

  • In vitro, ex vivo and in silico characterization of biological tissues mechanics,
  • Biomechanical design and preclinical in silico, in vitro and ex vivo evaluation of orthopaedic and spinal devices, including custom-made 3D-printed prostheses,
  • Development of surgical techniques for spine stabilization in patients with osteoporosis, tumours and sagittal imbalance,
  • Patient-specific optimization of 3D correction of paediatric spinal deformities (scoliosis),
  • Development and revision of ASTM/ISO standards for preclinical evaluation of medical devices.

Selected publications

  • La Barbera et al. “How do spine instrumentation parameters influence the 3D correction of thoracic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis? A patient-specific biomechanical study”. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2021 Apr;84:105346. doi: 1016/j.clinbiomech.2021.105346
  • Lopez Poncelas, La Barbera, et al. “Credibility assessment of patient-specific biomechanical models to investigate proximal junctional failure in clinical cases with adult spine deformity using ASME V&V40 standard”. Comput Methods Biomech Biomed Engin. 2021 Aug 24;1-11. doi: 1080/10255842.2021.1968380
  • La Barbera et al. “Load-sharing biomechanics of lumbar fixation and fusion with pedicle subtraction osteotomy”. Sci Rep. 2021 Feb 11;11(1):3595. doi: 1038/s41598-021-83251-8
  • La Barbera et al. “In silico patient-specific optimization of correction strategies for thoracic adolescent idiopathic scoliosis”. Clin Biomech. 2020 Oct 24. doi: 1016/j.clinbiomech.2020.105200
  • Ruspi et al. “Digital Image Correlation (DIC) assessment of the non-linear response of the Anterior Longitudinal Ligament of the spine during flexion and extension”. Materials 2020, 13(2), 384; doi: 3390/ma13020384
  • Palanca et al. “The strain distribution in the lumbar anterior longitudinal ligament is affected by the loading condition and bony features: an in vitro full-field analysis”. PLoS One. 2020 Jan 14;15(1):e0227210. doi: 1371/journal.pone.0227210
  • La Barbera et al. “Stent-screw assisted internal fixation of osteoporotic vertebrae: a comparative finite element analysis on SAIF technique”. Bioeng. Biotechnol. 7:291. 25 Oct. 2019. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2019.00291
  • La Barbera et al. “Biomechanical comparison of anterior column realignment and pedicle subtraction osteotomy for severe sagittal imbalance correction”. Eur Spine J. 2019 Aug. 14. 29(1):36-44. doi: DOI: 1007/s00586-019-06087-x
  • La Barbera et al. “Stent-screw assisted internal fixation of severe lytic spinal metastases: a comparative finite element analysis on SAIF technique”. World Neurosurg. 2019 Aug; 128:e370-e377. doi: 1016/j.wneu.2019.04.154
  • La Barbera et al. “Modelling 3D-printed trabecular metal structures with a homogenization approach: application to hemipelvis reconstruction”. Int J Artif Organs. 2019 Oct; 42(10):575-585. doi: 1177/0391398819848001
  • Piovesan et al. “Computational and experimental fatigue analysis for contoured spinal rods”. J Biomech Eng. Apr 2019, 141(4): 044505. doi: 1115/1.4042767
  • Berti, La Barbera et al. “Residual stresses in titanium spinal rods: effects of two contouring methods and material plastic properties”. J Biomech Eng. 2018 May 31. 140(11): 111001. doi: 1115/1.4040451
  • La Barbera et al. “Biomechanical advantages of supplemental accessory and satellite rods with and without interbody cages implantation for the stabilization of pedicle subtraction osteotomy”. Eur Spine J. 2018. 27(9):2357–2366. doi: 1007/s00586-018-5623-z
  • La Barbera and Villa. “Toward the definition of a new worst-case paradigm for the preclinical evaluation of posterior spinal stabilization devices”. Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2017 Feb, 231(2):176-185. doi: 1177/0954411916684365