Mario A. Kasapi, Ph.D.
The outer part of a horse's foot (known as the hoof wall) is one of the toughest biomaterials known. High toughness is necessary as the main function of the hoof wall is to transfer potentially large forces to the bony skeleton. Failure of the hoof may result in death of the animal. Hoof wall is a hierarchically organized composite material; my research involves mechanical evaluation of the many levels of organization, to determine the functional significance of each scale.