LLJ concludes with a successful final review meeting

The project coordinator and work package leaders gathered in Manchester for the final review of the LLJ project at which Laurence Archibald who has followed the project from the beginning declared himself very satisfied with the outcome. Although there is still work to do to achieve the silicon nitride coating performance as originally specified, sufficiently positive results have been achieved for the industrial coatings specialist Ionbond to commit to further development. There has been particular praise throughout the project for the advances made in musculoskeletal modelling software systems which promise in the future to enable surgeons to take a more individualistic approach towards joint replacement and improve testing standards.

LLJ has produced two important CEW Workshop Agreements

Over a hundred persons worked on the project; 30 journal publications and over 50 conference publications produced; 12 researchers were awarded PhDs with more to come. Many prizes have been awarded to young researchers, and a number of participants have advanced their careers. Above all many friendships have been forged which will last ‘life long’.

In the words of Gerhard Kappelt, Head of Materials and Biomechanical Testing at Peter Brehm, “For me the LLJ-project has been a quite extraordinary experience. Besides the interesting scientific aspects from very different subject areas, I learned a lot about the structure of big R&D-projects on a EU-wide scale –how to organise them internally and externally. This knowledge will help a lot in projects to come after “Lifelong Joints“.
At the personal level, LLJ allowed me to meet most interesting people from all over Europe and get to know them closely during the five years of collaboration – each and every one of them a highly experienced specialist on her/his area, but all of them very friendly and respectful people! Unfortunately there is no chance to stay in contact with all of them, but there will be new collaborations and, yes, even personal friendships lasting beyond LLJ.”


LLJ – the movies

By way of conclusion of the project and to share some of the experiences, a series of videos has been produced (more fun to watch than reading reports).

See the viewing options on the video page HERE: lifelongjoints.eu/the-videos.

Publication of CEN Workshop Agreements

A key result of LLJ from the work on in vitro simulation and biological assessment of wear conducted by the University of Leeds has been the development of novel methodology to isolate very low volumes of wear particles from simulator lubricants and tissues which is 100-fold more sensitive compared to current methods. The work has been presented for wider use through the publication of two CEN Workshop Agreements:

  • CWA 17253-1 “Joint implants — Part 1: Novel methods for isolating wear particles from joint replacements and related devices”
  • CWA 17253-2 “Joint implants — Part 2: Tiered toolkit approach to evaluate the biological impact of wear particles from joint replacements and related devices”

These can be obtained from the CEN website.

It is envisaged that these may in the not too distant future become EN or ISO standards.

A video relating to the Workshops set up to discuss these can be seen HERE:

Final External Expert Advisory Board meeting held in Lisbon

At the start of the LLJ project, a board of experts (EEAB) was appointed to be our ‘critical friends’.

Since 2015 it has met with representatives of the project annually to receive information about progress on developments and to give the project team an opportunity to hear external expert opinion. Four of the six members of the Board were present : Professor Maria Grazia Benedetti – Professor at the Ospedale Universitario Rizzoli Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli in Bologna; Professor Tom Joyce – Professor of Orthopaedic Engineering Mechanical and Systems Engineering, University of Newcastle; Professor Dr. Frank Lampe – Professor at the Schön Klinik Hamburg Eilbek, Zentrum für Endoprothetik; and  Dr Catherine Van Der Straeten – Head of the Clinical Research and Innovation Institute and Network Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer Imperial College London, UK.

The presentations focussed on the results of the coating development and future plans for exploitation presented by Antonio Santana Global Head Segment Medical at Ionbond; Prof. Stephen Ferguson  and doctoral student Enrico De Pieri from ETH presented on “Advances in computational methods and impact on treatment strategies” and Dr David Lunn from Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust presented on “Stratified approaches in Clinical Motion Analysis”.

These presentations stimulated an intensive exchange on future directions of work in implant replacement, but there was particular praise for the advances made musculoskeletal modelling software systems with Prof. Lampe expressing appreciation for the fact that this will allow surgeons to take a more individualistic approach.

LLJ wraps up in Lisbon

The last week of the project grant period is a busy week for the project in Lisbon. Project Members gathered here to hold a special workshop at the 15th International Symposium on Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering (CMBBE).

On Sunday 25 March the final Partner Assembly was held. Presentations were given by researchers on key results of the projects. The final deliverables were discussed and signed off followed by a session looking ahead at possible future projects on topics proposed from the LLJ work. Many participants are old hands at EU projects and everyone was in agreement that LLJ had been a particularly harmonious project with exceptionally good working relations between partners.