Orthopaedic Medical Engineering
- Technologies and devices for osteosynthesis and artificial joints
- Epidemiology and clinical guidelines for osteonecrosis
- Pathology for diseases of the hip joint
- Study of artificial joints
- Computer-asssited surgery
Engineering, computational and medical solutions for joint diseases
Trauma and disease can cause severe damage to the joints. Unlike other tissues, the body is not well equipped to repair joints, leaving patients with suboptimal stability and mobility. Surgery is common to recover the lost function.
As societies age, these debilitating ailments will become more frequent. Arthropathy and fractures of the hip are expected to rise, and many patients will require costly care if effective treatments are unavailable. Two options are artificial hip replacement or devices that promote osteosynthesis. In either case, biocompatibility of the biomaterials is crucial. We are developing a device based on carbon fiber reinforced PEEK for proximal femoral fracture fixation (Figure 1).
Although joint replacements have a long history, they presented restricted movement and were difficult to fulfill their lifetime duties, especially in younger patients. The reasons had to do with the materials and design. One of the biggest challenges is recapitulating the sliding of the joint. The development of new materials involves various fields such as metallurgy, polymer chemistry, ceramics chemistry, nanotechnology and so on, but for patient care, clinical medicine is also necessary. Another factor to patient recover is new computer-assisted surgical techniques (Figure 2). In our laboratory, we are combining these diverse fields to build next-generation artificial joints.