Creating and validating biofidelic knee mock-ups. A new tool to support orthopaedic training and development of surgical techniques and implants.
Orthopaedic surgery in the knee joint is one of the most frequently performed surgical treatments. It is usually considered very successful. Due to the ageing population, such operations will be required more often in the future. Thus, there will be a need for better and more reliable surgical techniques and implants. Surgeons and engineers use a range of tools to develop and validate these. They range from computer simulations over experiments with cadaver joints up to clinical tests on patients. While simulations are predominantly engineers’ tools and clinical tests are typically performed by clinicians, lab experiments are usually done by engineers and surgeons together. They are indispensable to make progress in the field. However, cadaver joints are hard to obtain, difficult to work with and they lack reproducibility. The current pandemic has also highlighted the risk of infection associated with the use of human tissues. Biofidelic knee mock-ups would therefore present an interesting alternative for the use of cadaveric material. With this project we will create and validate such devices. The feasibility of this endeavour has been shown by prototypes developed in recent work.