Faculty Scholars


Melinda K. Harman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Bioengineering
College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences

Contact: harman2@clemson.edu  

Who is Dr. Harman?

Melinda Harman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at Clemson University. She began her biomedical career in 1989 and has spent the subsequent years collaborating with healthcare and industry leaders to translate medical device innovations to clinical practice. Harman’s research and teaching focus on improving the safety and effectiveness of medical technology in various stages of development, including evaluation of implantable biomaterials such as joint prostheses and surgical mesh, human factors validation, and medical device reprocessing for reuse. Her current collaborative healthcare research involves healthcare providers within the Prisma Health System in Greenville, the Atrium Health System in Charlotte, and the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, among others across the US. She participates in global health initiatives at Clemson University and MUSC involving collaborators in Tanzania and India. She is active in interdisciplinary healthcare research involving the School of Nursing and the Department of Industrial Engineering. Her research has been widely disseminated through the publication of six book chapters and more than 50 original research papers in international, peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals. She is an active member of various biomedical professional groups. Prior to joining Clemson University, Harman completed an international fellowship at the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute in Bologna, Italy and worked for 14 years conducting biomedical research for medical device industries in a hospital-based setting. She has Ph.D. (Clemson University) and MS (University of Utah) degrees in bioengineering and BS degrees (Ball State University) in physics and in athletic training (sports medicine).

For more information, see her departmental faculty profile.

How Dr. Harman's research is transforming health care

The RE-MED lab, directed by Harman, is located at the Clemson University Biomedical Engineering Innovation Campus (CUBEInC) in Greenville, South Carolina. RE-MED helps to strengthen Clemson’s healthcare impact by engaging clinical professionals and industrial partners in translational research at this recognized biotechnology hub in the Upstate. Harman’s research aims to improve the safety and effectiveness of medical device technology in various stages of development and under end-use diagnostic and treatment conditions. She seeks to transform healthcare treatments by challenging the existing paradigm that the properties of medical implant materials remain constant after long-term exposure to the human physiological environment. Her most enduring scientific achievements have been attained by establishing post-marketing surveillance of implanted medical devices and implementing experimental protocols to explore failure mechanisms, material properties and biocompatibility. In her unique interdisciplinary GreenMD program, she is using tools from human factors engineering and usability validation to optimize biomedical device designs within the regulatory framework of reprocessing and to promote sustainability in healthcare through recycling and reuse. The research outputs support innovation by differentiating the performance of medical technologies under relevant clinical-use conditions. This approach compliments strategic areas of regulatory science, as identified by the US Food and Drug Administration, to: 1) modernize biocompatibility/biological risk evaluation of device materials; 2) advance methods to predict clinical performance of medical devices; 3) refine computer models and simulations to enhance the effectiveness of clinical studies, and 4) reduce healthcare associated infections by improving the effectiveness of medical device reprocessing.

News and media related to Dr. Harman's research

Health Research Expertise Keywords

Bioengineering, Biomaterials, Design, Failure Analysis, Human Factors, Hernia, Implant, Implant Retireval Analysis, International Health, Joint Replacement, Medical Device Reprocessing, Medical Device Testing, Orthopaedics, Patient Safety, Pelvic Organ Prolapse, Surgery, Surgical Materials