We are continually pushing our bodies to their limits and expecting them to perform even after we have had artificial implants. To ensure our medical professionals provide the most effective replacements, it is imperative we have a sound understanding of the friction and wear properties of both our natural systems and artificial alternatives under realistic conditions.
Synovial Joints (eg knee and hip joints) are continuously transmitting large dynamic loads whilst accommodating a wide range of movements. Due to diseases such as osteoarthritis and trauma these joints occasionally need to be replaced by artificial implants. Tribology research considers the friction, wear and lubrication of natural and artificial joints including the wear debris from the joint implants and the human bodies reaction to this.
As the number of joint replacements continues to rise to well over 1 million per year worldwide and the hip replacement market estimated to be worth $9.8 billion the need for improved understanding and research in this field is essential.
Research areas include:
- Orthopaedics: synovial joints and articular cartilage, osteoarthritis and meniscus damage
- Artificial Joints: articular joints, spinal, stent
- Biomaterials: scaffolds for bone/cartilage repair, implant materials, additive manufacturing
- Ocular: ocular surfaces, lubricity of contact lenses
- Dental: tooth/implant wear, implants
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