updated: 9/15/2010 9:51:20 AM

Rose-Hulman Receives Grant to Expand Orthopedics Projects

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

The National Science Foundation is providing Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology with a more than $335,000 grant to purchase biomechanical equipment for undergraduate research projects in orthopedics. The school is joining forces with the Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana Research Foundation based at the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery in Mooresville for the initiative.

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Press Release

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology has received a $335,309 grant from the National Science Foundation to expand biomechanical instrumentation for undergraduate research projects in orthopedics that could lead to the development of improved, cost effective design alternatives for knee and hip implants.

The projects are being conducted through a partnership with Rose-Hulman’s Department of Applied Biology and Biomedical Engineering and the Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana Research Foundation based at the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery in Mooresville, Ind.

The three-year grant is part of the NSF’s major research instrumentation program, which strives to increase access to shared scientific and engineering instruments for research and research training at U.S. colleges and universities, museums, science centers and not-for-profit organizations.

The new equipment will provide Rose-Hulman’s Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory a physiological loading and response measurement system to benefit research and training activities in orthopedic biomechanics and materials engineering. Specifically, the instruments will allow students, faculty and staff members to accurately apply physiological loading to cadaveric specimens implanted with orthopedic devices, and to precisely examine the mechanical conditions related to clinically observed failure of the implanted devices and tissue specimens.

Leading this initiative will be Christine Buckley and Renee Rogge, associate professors of applied biology and biomedical engineering, and Scott Small, engineering director for the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory, and Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana Research (JRSI) Foundation orthopedic surgeons Michael Berend, Merrill Ritter, Rob Malinzak and John Meding.

The instrumentation system features a servohydraulic materials testing machine with dynamic pressure and strain acquisition instrumentation. The equipment will provide the validated study of hip and knee prosthesis design and its effect on the mechanical response and interactions between bone and implant.

Since 2004, Rose-Hulman faculty and students have worked closely with the JRSI Foundation to provide quality research experiences to undergraduate and master’s degree biomedical and mechanical engineering students. This collaboration promotes the direct application of engineering principles to the study of surgical technique and device failure mechanisms which JRSI clinicians have observed in their patient database of 17,000 knee and 11,000 hip replacements.

Students working in the Rose-Hulman’s Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory have used composite bone specimens in uniaxial loading models to examine the effects of prosthesis size, design, material and surgical alignment on implant survivability following hip and knee replacement in static, axial loading scenarios. Research projects have characterized conforming articular designs, utilization of metal tibial components, and proper component size matching as elements which decrease peak tibial loading associated with failure of knee replacements. Students, faculty and JRSI Foundation surgeons have also examined cementless acetabular cup design and screw location on initial stability following hip replacement surgery. Also, medical imaging and specimen-specific computational modeling have been integrated into the research projects.

The new equipment for the laboratory will allow Rose-Hulman students to expand upon previous work in an effort to more fully quantify the interaction between orthopedic devices and biological specimen.

Rose-Hulman’s collaboration with JRSI strives to define the mechanical factors which lead to implant failure in joint replacement. These important findings will be shared with the engineering and orthopedic communities through journal publications and conference proceedings. Nine research manuscripts directly from the Orthopedic Biomechanics Laboratory have been published or accepted for publication in peer reviewed medical or engineering journals, all of which have been co-authored by Rose-Hulman undergraduate or graduate students. The program also hopes to recruit, train and encourage students, with emphasis toward females and minorities, towards careers in orthopedics through engineering research, clinical exposure and device design.

About Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Founded in 1874, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is located on a 200-acre campus just east of Terre Haute, Ind. The college offers a rigorous, hands-on education that stresses development of technical and interpersonal skills in an environment characterized by close personal attention for every student. The college has an enrollment of 1,900 undergraduate students and 100 graduate students. Degree programs are offered in applied biology, biochemistry, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, chemistry, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, economics, electrical engineering, engineering physics, mathematics, mechanical engineering, optical engineering, physics and software engineering. For 12 consecutive years, Rose-Hulman has been rated the top undergraduate engineering college in the nation that offers the bachelor's or master's degree as its top degree in engineering. The ranking is based on a national survey of deans and senior faculty conducted by U.S. News & World Report for its annual college guidebook.

About the Orthopedic Biomechanical Laboratory

The Orthopedic Biomechanical Laboratory is a collaboration between Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and the Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana Research Foundation, based at the Center for Hip & Knee Surgery in Mooresville, Ind. The program was established to provide undergraduate and graduate engineering students at Rose-Hulman with valuable research opportunities in the field of orthopedics. Collaboration began in 2004 with a generous gift from 1948 Rose-Hulman alumnus Howard Freers and the sponsorship of two biomedical engineering masters theses. Since then, eight master’s thesis and numerous undergraduate research projects have been conducted in the laboratory, resulting in multiple conference presentations and peer reviewed journal publications. Laboratory space is utilized in the John T. Myers Center for Technological Research with Industry on campus. In 2007, JRSI Research Foundation and Rose-Hulman expanded the collaboration by hiring a full-time engineering director to oversee research efforts at Rose-Hulman.

About the Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana Research Foundation

The Joint Replacement Surgeons of Indiana (JRSI) Research Foundation is committed to clinical and biomedical research in the field of orthopedics. The mission of the foundation is to foster the advancement of hip and knee replacement surgical procedures, implants and survivorship in order to improve the long-term function and well-being of the patients who suffer from debilitating arthritis and associated disorders. A total of over 400 peer reviewed journal articles have been published by researchers affiliated with JRSI in the last 20 years. Find out more at www.rose-hulman.edu/jrsi.

Source: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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