Department of Mechanical Engineering

Enhancing clinical materials and techniques in orthopaedic surgery

Working with industry, our research has contributed to improvements in joint replacement surgery, helping to reduce healthcare costs and increase quality of life.

knee joint 3d simulation

Challenge

As our ageing population grows, cases of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis are increasing and joint replacement surgery is becoming more common. This increase presents a significant challenge for healthcare delivery worldwide.

Bath has been a key part of enabling the commercial success of Hydroset. The Centre for Orthopaedic Biomechanics is considered a centre of excellence in this field by Stryker Corp.

— Senior Director, Biomaterials R&D and Technical Marketing, Stryker Osteosynthesis

REF submission

This research was part of our REF 2014 submission for Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering.

Bone cement is routinely used in joint replacement surgery, both within the UK and internationally, for implant fixation and to enhance screw fixation in osteoporotic bone.

According to the UK National Joint Registry data, cement fixation is used in around 50 per cent of the 75,000 total hip replacements and in over 80 per cent of the 80,000 total knee replacements carried out in the UK each year.

Improvements in this material could have a major impact on joint replacement surgery and the challenges currently facing the healthcare system.

Solution

In collaboration with industry, Professor Tony Miles, Dr Sabina Gheduzzi and colleagues from the Centre for Orthopaedic Biomechanics carried out innovative research into biomechanical evaluation of the bone cement properties associated with different mixing systems, and the protocols and optimisation of the design parameters of mixing and delivery systems.

With the aim to develop a commercially viable bone cement mixing and delivery system with Summit Medical, research focused on investigating ways in which to reduce cement porosity, as well as mixing directly in the delivery syringe.

Furthermore, our researchers worked with Stryker Osteosynthesis on enhancements in screw fixation and aligning test procedures for their product Hydroset with requirements set out by the statutory clinical licensing authorities.

 

Benefits and outcomes

Our research led to the development of two new orthopaedic cement mixing and delivery systems in association with Summit Medical, enabling the company to launch the products with significant success in the UK and international markets.

A further result of our research enabled Stryker Osteosynthesis to gain EU clinical approval of injectable cements for augmenting bone screw fixation, leading to Hydroset becoming an economically successful mainstream product.

The broad reach of these impacts also extends to improved clinical outcomes, resulting in improved quality of life for patients and reduced healthcare costs.