The “Virtual Patient” – LLJ on tour at Imperial!

As part of the dissemination activities of the LLJ project, Prof. Stephen Ferguson, ETH, Dr David Lunn, LTHT, and Dr Liaming Gao, Imperial, gave a special “roadshow” workshop at Imperial College on 30 October, hosted by Prof. Catherine van der Straeten a LLJ EEAB member. In the audience were clinicians, orthopaedic surgeons as well as biomechanics researchers to hear presentation about current advances in development of simulation systems relating to implants and the contribution to the field made by LLJ.
The Work Package 3 team of LLJ partners ETH, Anybody Technologies, Imperial, University of Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust and Schulthess Klinik have contributed to substantial advances in the area of Computational Modelling and Simulation of Hip Joint Mechanics and Wear. It has been noted that this work is particularly of interest to the clinicians. We have entered the era of the ˮVirtual Patient“which may one day lead to tailor-made implants and a better understanding of the variables that lead to successful outcomes for patients.

Launch of CEN Workshop based on LLJ results

Under the auspices of CEN, LLJ has initiated a process to achieve Workshop Agreements based on the techniques developed by Prof. Joanne Tipper and team at the University of Leeds who have been working on in vitro testing of the silicon nitride coating. Preparation of the workshops has been coordinated by Dr Peter Hatto, Ionbond and Jacqui Burman of BSI.

CEN/WS 87 – “Novel methods for isolating wear particles from joint replacements and related devices and for evaluating their biological impact in vitro” will hold a web based kick-off meeting 15 June 2017. Details on how to participate can be found on the CEN website .

The Workshop aims at producing two CEN Workshop Agreements. It will deliver

  1. new wear particle isolation procedures that will allow the collection and subsequent biological testing of wear debris from joint simulator and reciprocating wear testing under joint relevant conditions and
  2. a toolkit of tests providing a significantly more relevant, and complete measure of biological impact of wear particles by considering inflammatory cytokine release, cytotoxicity, genotoxicity, oxidative stress and membrane toxicity.

New channels of dissemination

LLJ as a project community takes broader dissemination of what we do and why we do it seriously. We have had two very successful events for hip replacement patients. In October the project was represented by Prof. Morlock in a more radical science dissemination event “Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge“. In a ‘speed dating type of set up’ people have an opportunity to meet experts and discuss a topic for 30 min. An expert and a knowledge seeker discuss, observed by an observer to see what is imparted. The concept of Blackmarket for Useful Knowledge and Non-Knowledge. The art of the assembly is explained in this video

Professor Michael Morlock was billed as head of the Hamburg Institute of Biomechanics, a professor at the Technical University, Hamburg, and former president of the German Society for Biomechanics. As a mathematician and sports scientist, he tries to develop endoprostheses that last a lifetime – and even beyond. “He will discuss societal challenges of medical technologies by showing prostheses that outlived their owners (such as artificial heart valves and hip joints)”. In other words Life Long Joints!

The event as a whole attract around 500 participants.

Second Meeting of the External Expert Advisory Board (EEAB)

The second meeting of the LifeLongJoints EEAB took place on the 2nd of February 2016 in Amsterdam. Our photo shows the EEAB Members and our LifeLongJoints Workpackage Leaders during our pre-meeting dinner at a typical Dutch family restaurant during which the EEAB members and LLJ Work Package leaders discussed topics of common interest.


At the EEAB meeting itself, under the Chair of Prof. Andrew Carr (Nuffield Professor of Orthopaedics and Head of the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences at the University of Oxford) the EEAB Members present Professors Maria Grazia Benedetti (Bologna), Tom Joyce (Newcastle) and Dr Catherina van der Straeten (London) discussed the project’s progress with the WP Leaders.

Presentations were given on the most recent project results in the analysis of coating biocompatibility and the methods applied. There was a lively discussion of both project work details and the broader context of medical device development, its regulation and the challenges of introducing new technologies into this field.

The next meeting of the EEAB will be held in February 2017 and will provide an opportunity of a hands-on visit of the mechanical simulation laboratory at the University of Leeds, focussing on the simulation aspects of the LifeLongJoints project and the comprehensive approach it is taking to this subject.

5th Partner Assembly held in snowy Uppsala

LLJ’s 5th Partner Assembly was held at the The Ångström Laboratory, at Uppsala University and hosted by Professors Håkan Engqvist and Cecilia Persson who are leading Work Package 1 (Synthesis and Characterization of Silicon Nitride Coatings)

LLJ_PA5_Uppsala_IMG_1559Partner Assemblies provide the opportunity for the full LLJ partnership to come together and discuss not only progress, but also share views and discuss issues arising from current developments both inside and outside the project. At this Partner Assembly, aside from presentations of each WP, the comments of the EEAB were presented as preparations for the forthcoming second milestone and review discussed. Those present also discussed the Biomaterials for Health Strategic Roadmap published as a discussion paper by the European Commission in December and available here. The major points of discussion will be communicated by LLJ Coordinator Richard Hall to the Commission at the Cluster meeting on the same topic to be held in February 2015.

Document (PDF): Biomaterials Roadmap December 2014