Orthopaedic hip implants are coated using a thermal spray process namely Plasma Spray. The synthetic bone (Hydroxyapatite) that is sprayed functions as a fixator between the implant and the existing bone. When blood cells ingress into this coating after a surgeon has reamed out the old defective bone from a hip joint, the blood cells turn the hydroxyapatite into natural bone causing a biological fixation between the femur and the implant stem made of titanium alloy. As these implants generally have only a life of 10-15 years due to loosening effects or infection, I have researchers who are improving the process and implant using drug delivery systems incorporated into the plasma sprayed coating for antibiotic and bone growth applications. This aim is built upon previous collaborations with Stryker Howmedical Osteonics in Cork.
Masters Level Modules:
- MM530 Surface Engineering and Tribology. Basis behind the knowledge needed to attain the research above. Engineering analysis of the behaviour of surfaces subject to hostile environments.
- MM533 Research Practice and MethodologyModule preparing students for research, such as citation, critical appraisal of literature, Design of Experiments, Statistics, Collection and Analysis of results, ethics etc.
Personal Web: http://webpages.dcu.ie/~stokesjt/
School Research: http://www.dcu.ie/mechanical_engineering/research.shtml
Medical Engineering Research Centre MEDeng: www.medeng.dcu.ie/