LLJ moving into its final phase reaches consensus on exploitation scenarios

LLJ held a technical discussion meeting at ETH Zürich 1-2 November focussing on reviewing the coating development and test results. Since commencement of the project the market for hard-on-hard implants has collapsed to be replaced largely by hard on polyethylene systems. This has posed some questions about which product scenarios should now be the focus of the project work to offer the best exploitation opportunities. In concluding the meeting, the scientific coordinator Prof. Richard Hall noted the tremendous progress that had been made and the consensus established around how to move forward to the conclusion of the project.

Very good progress has been made over the past 12 months!

This was the key observation made by the Project Technical Assistant Laurence Archibald at the third LLJ annual review meeting held in Manchester 8 June.

Work package leaders presented the achievements of the past 12 months and the ongoing work. The coating development is proceeding towards final specification; there are exciting developments in the area of simulation and modelling; a new method for the toxicology measurements has been achieved; over 50 scientific presentations and paper submissions have been made; LLJ young researchers have received awards; a very successful outreach event was held.

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In commending the progress made, Laurence Archibald, stressed now the importance of preparing for exploitation. Monica Schofield speaking for the work of WP6 which tackles Medical device regulation, exploitation, dissemination pointed out that the work was being carried out in accordance with a Regulatory Plan defined at the start of the project which is intended to smooth the route too exploitation of the coating on implants, though commercial support for this cannot be guaranteed. There is certainly a lot of exploitation interest in the modelling and simulation work.

LLJ partners are pleased with the positive feedback from the PTA. It is very helpful to the project to have a competent external view on developments.

8th Partner Assembly held in Manchester, European City of Science

Manchester was the location for the 8th LLJ Partner Assembly meeting at the end of February. The Partner Assembly meets twice a year to bring together project community for representatives of each of the work packages to get up to date with the progress in the project as a whole.
The project is now entering the exciting phase when things are coming together. There was discussion around the properties and specification of the coating, as well as discussion of the plans for dissemination.

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Manchester will be hosting the EuroScience Open Forum 2016, 23-27 July.

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.

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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.

LLJ Second Review Meeting

June 11 saw the LLJ partnership gathered in Brussels for the second review meeting. This year the Project Technical Assistance Laurence Archibald was joined by the Project Officer Fergal Donnelly, from DG R&I Nanomaterials.

Presentations were given by the Work Package leaders to bring both up to date with the progress which has been good for such a large and complex projects. Most of the work is on track despite some challenges with the coatings. Particular interest was expressed in some of the early ‘spin-offs’ from the project in terms of simulation testing and modelling as well as the contribution LLJ can make to discussions on regulation.

The LLJ team gathered the day before to run through the presentations and then continued discussions while being educated into the art of Antipodean wines.

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LLJ Project team with PO Fergal Donnelly and PTA Laurence Archibald, Brussels 11 June 2015