Functional surfaces and interfaces in orthopaedic technologies

There are approximately 90,000 Total Hip Replacements (THRs) conducted each year in the UK. THR is without a doubt one of the most successful intervention strategies for hip disease. However, these benefits come with problems associated with the use of metallic components. The degradation mechanisms of metallic orthopaedic joints operating in a biological environment are a complex mixture of mechanical and electrochemical reactions. Degradation through wear and corrosion results in a change in local environments eliciting soft tissue reactions often requiring surgical intervention. This will also have a direct impact on the performance of the devices from not only a wear but also electrochemical aspect. Despite the clinical issues associated with metallic alloy degradation in vivo, the interfacial mechanisms and variables pertaining to metal ion and debris release are largely unknown.

This seminar will discuss the roles of combined mechanical and electrochemical processes on the degradation of metallic surfaces, highlight the multi-scale nature of the problem and how we can use surface science principles to develop better medical devices. It will cover recent work at the Institute of Functional Surfaces (iFS) at the University of Leeds, which includes development of new surfaces engineering technologies, to mitigate complications arising from in viva biotribological processes.

About the speakers

Dr Michael Bryant

Institute of Functional Surfaces, University of Leeds

Dr Michael Bryant CEng FHEA is an Associate Professor in Tribology and Corrosion Engineering in the Institute of Functional Surfaces (iFS), School of Mechanical Engineering. His research focuses on tribological and surface interactions of materials used in biomedical applications with a strong publication record within the area of tribology and surface analyses. Research is currently funded as PI and Co-I through the EPSRC, Wellcome Trust, Royal Society, EU H2020 and Industry (> £5.5m). He was awarded the IMechE Duncan Downson Prize and Sir Thomas Hawksley gold medal in 2018.