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Our orthopaedic device design research

Our research into titanium and other metals used in orthopaedic implants or devices aims to provide surgeons with improved arthroplasty outcomes, including greater osseointegration and reduced periprosthetic infection.

We’re also developing technologies where a patient’s own cells are grown into 3D printed biodegradable scaffolds, providing self-donated tissue replacement options for larger bone and cartilage defects and tissue loss.

Close up of orthopaedic surgeon Gary Hooper at work in the operating theatre

Current projects

Improving orthopaedic titanium implants through engineered surface design

Jun Li works with additive manufactured orthopaedic titanium implants, modifying their surfaces.

He uses surface topology design and incorporates drugs in order to enhance bone regeneration into and around the implant and to offer an antibacterial function.

His designed surfaces will be validated with in-vitro cellular response experiments and in-vivo with animal studies to confirm their efficiency and safety.

The biocompatibility of implants manufactured using different 3D printing methods will also be compared, such as the laser and electron beam melting methods.

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Additive manufacturing of titanium mesh technologies for orthopaedic medical devices.

3D printing technology is used to build complex mesh structures for use in orthopaedic implants, which require fusion with bone.

By using engineering Josephine Shum is looking to optimise these structures so that they mimic the behavior of bone and encourage implant-to-bone integration during healing.

Her research investigates the application of these meshes in humans as well as for use in veterinary surgery.

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Osteochondral regeneration for articular joints

The ends of our articular joints comprise smooth protective layers of articular cartilage (chondro) over bone (osteo). And one of Dr Steven Cui’s research directions is the development of a co-culture system for making three-dimensional layered osteochondral tissue.

His research strategies include the use of biofabricated microstructures seeded with living cells to encourage automatic bioassembly of cartilage.

He also explores systems of biomolecule and growth factor delivery, and the application of mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cord blood in his pre-clinical model of cartilage regeneration.

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