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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: GR/R05208/01
Title: Biaxial Testing Facility For Biomechanical Research and Evaluation of Orthopaedic Device Performance
Principal Investigator: Miles, Professor AW
Other Investigators:
Learmonth, Professor I Tilley, Dr DG Cunningham, Dr JL
Learmouth, Professor I
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Dartec Ltd Osteotec Ltd PI Precision Implants AG
Summit Medical Ltd
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Bath
Scheme: JREI
Starts: 23 May 2001 Ends: 22 November 2002 Value (£): 98,500
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EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
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Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Total joint replacement represents one of the most significant advances in medical treatment in the last 40 years and has contributed to improving the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of people in the UK. Significant advances are being made in addressing the longevity of these joints to enable their use in younger patients. Long term survival remains a challenge and research into issues such as loosening, bone remodelling and tissue engineering are currently receiving much attention from the scientific community. The response of bone to the presence of implants and to the imposed mechanical environment associated with normal daily living activities are important factors which have a significant influence on long term survival of implants. These issues also translate to the treatment of fractures where modern methods of fracture treatment are increasingly utilising fracture fixation systems to create the optimum mechanical environment to enhance fracture healing. In addition to product development in medical devices is being subjected to increasing regulatory controls and preclinical testing and validation is now central to certification of devices prior to clinical use. Such evaluation is critical to ensure patients are not exposed to devices which have not been thorough evaluated but at the same time enabling new technologies to be introduced to improve quality of life. The development of methodologies for evaluating the performance of implants and devices represents an intellectual challenge and provides significant scope for research into the basic mechanisms involved. The collaboration between the Universities of Bath and Bristol has in recent years focused on the simulation of loading regimes and performance evaluation of orthopaedic implants and fracture fixation devices and the necessary expertise exists to address this particular area. Multiaxial loading of orthopaedic devices is central to the work being carried out in Bath and Bristol in Biomechanics and relates to three general application areas; stability and micromotion associated with total joint replacement systems, load transfer issues of total joint replacement prostheses and the load transfer characteristics associated with fracture fixation systems.Five specific project areas have been identified in the case for support, these comprise: micromotion measurement of hip joint stability, evaluation of stability of impaction grafting materials, development of a wrist joint simulator, biomechanical characteristics of intramedullary nails and hip fracture fixation devices and evaluation of the stability of mobile bearing total knee replacement systems. The specialised test facility requested will be central to the successful execution of this research. All of the projects are linked to industrial collaboration and will have both direct engineering and clinical relevance and involvement of research personnel. The technology developed in these project areas will form a powerful basis for expanding and developing the expertise in the group and provide a valuable asset to the medical device industry particularly SMEs.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bath.ac.uk