The University of Southampton
Engineering and the Environment

Research project: Developing Hip Replacements: Simulations and Experimental Methods

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Hip replacement operations transform lives. More than 85,000 are carried out every year in England and Wales, primarily to treat osteoarthritis, and most are very successful and give patients pain-free movement for well over ten years. However, younger, more active patients present a greater challenge, and producing new implant systems presents a risk. In this project, computer simulation and experimental test methods are being devised to aid the development of implant systems for the future, with young patients in mind.

Project Overview

This project aims to develop experimental tests of the structural integrity of new hip replacement implant concepts, employing novel biomaterials. We also aim to produce computational modelling methods to simulate processes which cannot be tested in the laboratory. In particular, we are working on methods to predict the healing and adaptive remodelling of the bone surrounding the implant in the years following surgery. Finally, we are employing data rich experimental measurement techniques to correlate our computational and experimental methods.

Virtual x-Rays showing Predictions of Bone Remodelling and Healing around Hip Resurfacing Implant Concepts
Virtual x-Rays

These tools will aid the development of new implant concepts, and predict their performance to assess whether a concept is safe to begin clinical evaluation. Details of direct research impact from this project can be found here.

This project has received funding from the Technology Strategy Board’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership Scheme and from the EPSRC.

Computational Predictions and Experimental Measurements of Strain Compared using Digital Image Correlation
Digital Image Correlation

The scientific work has been recognised by the BIOLOX Award 2009, and Awards for Engineering Excellence and the Best Partnership (South East Region) at the KTP Awards 2011, and reached the final of the IMechE Annual Medical Engineering Student Project Competition in 2012.

Related research groups

Bioengineering Science

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