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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R015139/1
Title: Bone Bricks: Cost effective modular osseointegrated prosthetics for large bone loss surgical procedures
Principal Investigator: Bartolo, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Cooper, Dr G Koc, Professor B Blunn, Professor G
Weightman, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Manchester Royal Infirmary
Department: Mechanical Aerospace and Civil Eng
Organisation: University of Manchester, The
Scheme: GCRF (EPSRC)
Starts: 01 February 2018 Ends: 30 June 2022 Value (£): 828,910
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomaterials Tissue engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
14 Nov 2017 EPSRC GCRF Diagnostics, Prosthetics and Orthotics panel November 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The Syrian conflict has displaced around 3 million refugees into Turkey, accounting for around 4% of its population. Turkey provides free of charge healthcare services to Syrians and as such the burden on the healthcare system is significant with 940 thousand patients treated, 780 thousand operations and 20.2million outpatient services utilised. Recently, the Turkish government announced that it has spent over £9 billion in support of Syrians living in Turkey, including health insurance, since the beginning of the crisis, and a further £3.2 billion funding is still required from the Turkish economy.

This project will create Bone Bricks to assemble a customised patient specific prosthetic implant to treat large bone injuries. It proposes to build on the current treatment of external fixation but with the addition of an engineered internal prosthetic implant to improve patient outcomes, avoid painful limb lengthening and reduce recovery time. Each limb salvage requires a patient specific prosthetic to fill the bone lost from their injury. This is achieved by constructing the prosthetic implant from 3D printed modular pieces, "bone bricks". The bone bricks, made with biocompatible and biodegradable polymer-ceramic materials, will come in a pallet of shapes and sizes and fit together in a "lego like" way to form the prosthesis. The assembled prosthesis creates a hollow cage which is filled with an infection prevention paste. The prosthesis and paste will prevent infection, promote bone regeneration creating a mechanically stable bone union. This will enable limb salvage as an alternative to amputation, avoiding painful limb lengthening and improving recovery time/functional patient outcomes.

The Bone Bricks project utilises will engage patients, doctors, medical device manufacturers and researchers to develop a medical implant that will be used to enable injured Syrians to avoid amputation of their limbs after they have sustained injuries during the conflict (such as blast injuries). Although our primary focus is the displaced Syrian population living in Turkey a new treatment for large bone loss would benefit Turkish and UK citizens injured in accidents e.g. falls or road traffic accidents. Furthermore, our novel low cost solution would benefit people from the current 40 active conflicts displacing more than 13 million people in other Official Development Assistance (ODA) countries.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.man.ac.uk