Merging Core Shell Metal Organic Frameworks and Regenerative Microporous Annealed Particle Scaffolding: An Engineered Approach to Wrist Arthritis
Donald Griffin, Asst. Prof, Biomedical Engineering (SEAS), Guarav Giri, Asst. Prof, Chemical Engineering (SEAS), Brent DeGeorge, Asst. Prof, Surgery – Plastic & Maxillofacial (SOM), Patrick Cottler, Asst. Prof, Surgery – Plastic & Maxillofacial (SOM)
Wrist arthritis affects at least 2 million adults per year in the U.S. alone. Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, is characterized by irreparable loss of cartilage, which increases friction between joint surfaces and leads to pain and potentially loss of function. Because doctors cannot restore damaged cartilage, the only option for patients in severe pain is total joint replacement.
The research team comprised of experts from the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Plastic & Maxillofacial Surgery aims to change the landscape for arthritis patients using an approach called regenerative medicine. They are designing new injectable materials that not only encourage the body’s cells to repopulate a treated region but also deliver the growth factors those cells need to thrive and produce new cartilage.
Development, Implementation, and Demonstration of a Robotic Gait Simulator
As the population ages, the incidence of arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders is increasing, generating a need for new and better treatments to relieve pain and restore mobility. While joint replacements now successfully address many cases of arthritis in hips and knees, it has proven more challenging to develop successful replacements and other treatments for the ankles and feet.
In this project, mechanical engineers at the Center for Applied Biomechanics (CAB) and surgeons from UVA’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery will collaborate to develop, implement, and demonstrate the use of a new research capability at UVA: a robotic gait simulator. A robotic gait simulator is a combination of software and hardware that allows researchers to simulate realistic physiological foot and ankle biomechanics while measuring forces, pressures, motions, and deformations of different structures that cannot be accurately measured in patients.
The CAB robotic system will provide a platform to study the complex structure/function relationships in the foot and ankle, allowing researchers to simulate surgical interventions and repairs, better understand mechanisms of injury and pathology of disease, and evaluate novel designs for engineered replacements. This collaborative project will place UVA at the forefront of experimental biomechanics as one of only a handful of institutions that can perform these realisitc robotic tests.