Myth vs Tradition – Total joint Replacement

Traditions can sometimes contradict existing evidence, resulting in myths: such as “this was the best remedy yesterday, and it is still the best treatment now.” In the field of Total joint replacements (TJR), there are myths that are being practiced but do not know whether it is true or not. The consequences of continuing myths could result in additional pain, infections, blood loss, morbidity, and mortality for patients, as well as higher costs.

Husted et al.(2014) offered an insightful review that explores preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative traditions during joint replacement surgery and compares them to published research. The authors demonstrated that hair removal before to surgery, urine testing for bacteria, intraoperative use of plastic adhesive drapes, pre-warming of the operating room, use of a tourniquet, a space suit, and a urinary catheter should all be avoided. Similarly, there is no evidence to justify delaying washing or changing bandages until after 48 hours of surgery. There is also no evidence to support the use of routine dental antibiotic prophylaxis, continuous passive motion (CPM), compression stockings, cooling for pain relief or swelling reduction, flexion of at least 90 degrees as a discharge criterion after TKA, or having restrictions after THA.

After all, according to the American astronomer and astrophysicist Carl Sagan: “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. On the other hand, Dr Sagan stated that “it is better to light a candle than to curse at the darkness”. Ultimately, the authors made a strong proposal that revising the myths and traditions around hip and knee arthroplasty in favor of more relevant evidence-based approaches can improve early functional recovery, lowering morbidity, mortality, and the costs.

This is an interesting article from surgical and patient’s point of view. But it is always compelling to have new knowledge.

Article Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4259040/

Husted, H., Gromov, K., Malchau, H., Freiberg, A., Gebuhr, P., & Troelsen, A. (2014). Traditions and myths in hip and knee arthroplasty. Acta orthopaedica, 85(6), 548–555. https://doi.org/10.3109/17453674.2014.971661

 

This article was written by MM Raihan as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Raihan is researching In-situ Measurement of Nano-scale Wear Utilising Advanced Sensors at University of Leeds, UK.

Simone De Beauvoir and Hard Maths!

I had to pinch myself a number of times this week to ensure I was not ensnared in some Kafkaesque nightmare. Katharine Birbalsingh CBE, Chair, Social Mobility Commission (yes, that is correct), decided to make a comment and relate hard maths in physics to the poor uptake amongst girls in this subject, not withstanding the latest round of results in A-level Mathematics.  The full select committee discussion can be found here, in which Katherine refers to anonymous research supporting her claims.  This got worse as our Chair decided to go on GB News (a common media outlet for Katharine) to explain that she had endeavoured to control for social factors, after which the only attribute left was the sex difference.  Clearly, Katharine couldn’t  have, effectively, excluded all these factors as many are outside her control, but that didn’t stop her professing her innocence.

A key aspect of the debate, to my mind, is not just about getting women in STEM careers, but that if they are excluded we get a world designed for men in an increasing technological age. Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez (review here) sets out cataloguing, through careful research, the lack of data and the lack of gender/sex disaggregation of that data, which then works in hand with the assumption that maleness and the male lens are neutral to discriminate against women. The effects of this data invisibility, arising from a lack of representation, in many technological spheres leads to profound inequalities for women, which impoverish them (and children) to an appalling extent.  This is made worse by the examples of good practice which are just ignored.  The book’s inescapable conclusion is best summed up by the quote at the beginning:

Representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with the absolute truth.”   Simone De Beauvoir 

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) in Scanning electron microscopy (SEM): Innovation combines both technologies in real-time

New technology has been developed for obtaining same-time AFM and SEM imaging. With the combination of techniques, it is possible to obtain quick 3D topography, mechanical, electrical, and magnetic properties from AFM combined with 2D fast imaging from SEM at the same time [1].

Further, in microscopes equipped with energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (EDS) detectors, it is possible to obtain specific surface chemistry information [1]. Focused ion beams (FIB) can be employed to dissect precise areas of samples. Finally, using the software processing capabilities both images are merged offering robust results in techniques that traditionally required different machines. Further applications are discussed in detail in a webinar series conducted by the creators on the reference list [2].

AFM-in-SEM: Future of complex and in-situ correlative analyses

References

[1] LiteScope. Available at: <https://www.nenovision.com/litescopetm/why-afm-in-sem/> Access 05 Apr. 2022.

[2] AFM-in-SEM: future of complex and in situ correlative analysis. Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=it2pyTmtO-A>  05 Apr. 22.

Header Image: SEM Images of cow bone CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

This article was written by André Plath as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

André is researching Boundary Lubrication of Fibrous Scaffolds at ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

Selective Laser Melting (SLM) induced grain boundary engineering (GBE) strategy

Grain boundary engineering (GBE) has been one of the key methods to improve the surface properties of high-performance alloy materials. Increasing the frequency of coincidence site lattice (CSL) boundaries by GBE was found to optimise grain boundary character distribution, disrupting the connectivity of random boundaries and enhancing the resistance to grain boundary degradation. GBE can be achieved by thermomechanical processes, while some conventional approaches like cold working followed by annealing are not feasible for customised complex components.

In this article, Dong et al. have brought the potential of improving the stress corrosion resistance of selective laser melting (SLM) fabricated components by GBE to light. Co-Cr alloy specimens were fabricated by SLM using the checkboard laser scan strategy and the GBE process was done by annealing at 1200 for 1 h. Through the annealing, a high frequency of twin and twin-variant boundaries was generated from the residual strain stored in the SLM fabricated Co-Cr alloys which interrupted the random boundary networks, improving the crack resistance in 0.9% NaCl solution.

Optical microscope (OM) images of SLM fabricated Co-Cr alloys before (a) and after (d) annealing reveals that the typical fish-scale morphology commonly seen in SLM alloys disappeared and uniform equiaxed grains were formed via GBE. The Kernel average misorientation maps (KAM) show that the residual strain stored in the not annealed specimen (b) is higher than the annealed one (e), which acts as the precursor of the generation of the high frequency of special boundaries through recrystallization. The inverse pole figure (IPF) map of SLM fabricated Co-Cr alloys without annealing (c) shows the preference of <100> and <111> grain orientations along the building direction while randomly distributed orientations are formed after annealing.

 

By comparing these microstructural characteristics of SLM Co-Cr alloys with and without annealing, it’s interesting to see that the effects of GBE are so significant. This study shows the power of engineering microstructures and grains in improving the corrosion resistance of SLM Co-Cr alloys, which is useful for biomedical applications.

If you are interested in more details, please read the original article here.

Dong, Xin, et al. “Grain boundary character and stress corrosion cracking behavior of Co-Cr alloy fabricated by selective laser melting.” Journal of Materials Science & Technology 93 (2021): 244-253.

 

This post was written by Esperanza Shi as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Esperanza is researching the Optimisation of Scanning Strategies for 3D Printed Artificial Joints at Imperial College London, UK.

Controlling wear

Demand for total joint replacements in the UK continues to soar, driven by an aging population and an increasing number of younger patients undergoing these procedures.

Total knee replacement (TKR) operations are one of the most common surgical procedures globally with 2.6 million performed each year. Components have a limited life of approximately 15 years and in some cases earlier than expected replacement is required due to excessive wear. There are also additional serious concerns as wear debris can cause adverse reactions such as osteolysis, and soft tissue lesions.  The increasing implant rates and the burgeoning healthcare costs emphasize the need for research to improve implant function and longevity to avoid the need for expensive revision surgeries.

Video highlighting the wear mechanisms of all additively manufactured specimen types

Wear control, which relies on understanding the mechanisms of wear, is crucial in preserving the life of mechanical components and reducing costs. Additive manufacturing (AM) techniques can produce parts with tailored microstructure, however, little has been done to understand how this impacts the mechanisms of wear. In this paper Dr Myant and colleagues study the impact build orientation can have on initial grain arrangement and crystal orientation on the wear mechanisms of austenitic stainless steel in dry sliding contact.

Read more: Bahshwan, M., Myant, C. W., Reddyhoff, T., & Pham, M. S. (2020). The role of microstructure on wear mechanisms and anisotropy of additively manufactured 316L stainless steel in dry slidingMaterials & Design196, 109076.

Header figure: Graphical abstract of the Bahshwan research paper.

TriboUK BioTribology Posters

A strong attendance from Leeds biotribology researchers to the TriboUK 2022 conference hosted by Imperial College London.

The University of Leeds walked away with both of the 1st prizes! Sarah Crossland won the top presentation prize for her talk on the measurement of foot plantar skin strain using digital image methods, and Rob Elkington won the top poster prize for his poster on polyelectrolyte functionalised PEEK for focal cartilage resurfacing.

Checkout the Leeds biotribology PhD student posters below from Sarah Crossland, Beril Yenigul, and Rob Elkington!

Sarah Crossland: Measurement of foot plantar skin strain using Digital Image Correlation methods for diabetic foot assessment

Beril Yenigul: Validation Rig Design and Results Design of a Facet Joint Replacement for Cervical Spine and Modification of a Hip Simulator for Simultaneous Friction Analysis and Validation of the Testing Method

Robert Elkington: Taking a PEEK at cartilage resurfacing

Osteoarthritis care (in)equity

Many of us believe that the extraordinary scientific advances that have led to the dramatic improvement of our health status are the prerogative of humanity. Unfortunately, the reality is quite different.

To give you some numbers, osteoarthritis affects 7% of the global population, more than 500 million people worldwide, with women disproportionately affected by the condition [1]. The number of persons affected worldwide increased by 48 percent from 1990 to 2019, and osteoarthritis was the 15th leading cause of years lived with disability (YLDs) [1]. Despite these numbers, many people with osteoarthritis still don’t get the first-line treatments (such as education and support for self-management, physical activity, exercise, and guidelines to maintain healthy body weight) and they are missing out on the care they need to live their lives to the fullest. For those particularly living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) this problem is exacerbated by the fact that both health-system and individual-level determinants influence access to care [2].

But let’s start in order. What is osteoarthritis? Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common degenerative joint disease, a major cause of pain and disability, and a source of societal cost [3]. The disease compromises the structural and functional integrity of articular cartilage – the thick load-bearing tissue lining the ends of long bones – as well as the adjacent bone and other joint tissues [4]. The biological changes cause pain and limited mobility, which profoundly impacts a person’s everyday life, by restricting the ability to participate effectively in society, which can lead to social prejudice and exclusion from decision-making [2]. OA thereby leads to social, economic, and societal burdens, which are further compounded by the health challenges associated with increasing life expectancy and the prevalence of obesity in our global population [5].

While many of the barriers to providing OA treatment are universal, it is known that LMICs confront unique challenges and requirements. Although various difficulties have been raised, little is known about these obstacles and needs: disparity of care; expenses of providing and receiving treatment; and a lack of training for health workers [2].

The “Joint Effort Initiative” (JEI), an international consortium of doctors, researchers, and consumers led by the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI), was established with the goal of improving the global implementation of coordinated best-evidence osteoarthritis care. Driven by the huge impact of this chronic, complex condition, the JEI invited clinician-researchers from South Africa, Brazil, and Nepal to discuss their perspectives on challenges and opportunities in implementing the best-evidence care at the OARSI World Pre-Congress Workshop on April 28th 2021, to better understand some of the issues surrounding osteoarthritis care in LMICS [2]. There were five major themes that emerged when it came to overcoming obstacles to providing the best evidence-based osteoarthritis care [2]:

-Health inequities: refers to disparities in the ability of different groups of individuals to achieve their full health potential, which is commonly defined socially, economically, demographically, or geographically. In South Africa, Brazil, and Nepal, there are substantial links between health and wealth, with health disparities linked to high levels of poverty and aggravated by a lack of health insurance. For example, in rural areas of South Africa, access to healthcare is more limited. Furthermore, various political parties govern different provinces in South Africa, affecting the care accessible in each location and resulting in fragmentation of health services. In Brazil, it is estimated that over 18% of the population has poor access to healthcare, which rises to over 32% in rural areas. People from minority ethnic groups and those from lower socioeconomic strata have even less access. Many persons with OA in Nepal’s rural areas receive no care at all [2].

-Unaffordability of OA care: in both South Africa and Brazil, although the public health systems provide the majority of the OA care, there are significant wait times and insufficient support to help patients due to a lack of resources, so in Brazil for example people generally pay for their own OA therapy. In Nepal, since you must have health insurance to pay for OA treatment, many people simply do not have access to healthcare because it is too expensive [2].

-Lack of coordinated OA care: there is a dearth of specialized, coordinated osteoarthritis care, which is especially acute in rural locations [2].

-Unimportance of OA: OA is not considered an important disease and is often overlooked in low- and middle-income countries, where health budgets are restricted. For example, in South Africa, Brazil and Nepal, there is a scarcity of published OA research and no continuing national data collection for OA [2].

-Inexperienced: There is a general shortage of health professionals who provide OA therapy, and graduates are underprepared, particularly in rural areas [2].

But despite these major problems, efforts are being made for developing solutions and strategies to improve OA care in LMICs. In particular, these improvements are based on 3 major themes:

  • Upskill health workers via high-quality education and training: in South Africa, there are various training programs and the idea is to push these on a national basis in order to better integrate OA care into current health services. In Brazil, even if osteoarthritis is generally neglected, and in Nepal, they are also trying to educate and train health professionals through professional societies and universities to deliver best-evidence OA care [2].
  • Leverage national health priorities: since the treatments for osteoarthritis have not progressed as quickly as treatments for many other musculoskeletal and chronic noncommunicable disorders, the idea is to improve OA care by adapting successful practices and strategies from other areas of public health [2].
  • Use existing resources and advancements: to improve OA care, existing health breakthroughs and technologies could be expanded. For example, in these three countries, they are focusing on mobile health technology, so that they can reach a large part of the population quickly, even outside the urban area. This technology is already used for other diseases, so why not use it for osteoarthritis? In Nepal, furthermore, they are also trying to make more use of direct patient access to physiotherapists to manage pain [2].

In short, we cannot escape the bitter reality. Inequalities in osteoarthritis care between population groups exist in all countries, especially in low- and -middle-income countries. But fortunately, something is moving and despite many obstacles, as we can see from this article, there are also many opportunities and strategies for future implementations. The hope is that with these simple solutions, such as adopting strategies that have proven successful in other health conditions and providing education to health professionals and people with osteoarthritis [2], we can improve the care of osteoarthritis in the world and specifically in LMICs as soon as possible.

 

This article was written by Alessio Amicone as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Alessio is investigating the Elucidation of Friction-Induced Failure Mechanisms in Fibrous Collagenous Tissues at ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

 

 

 

References

[1] Hunter DJ, March L, Chew M. Osteoarthritis in 2020 and beyond: a Lancet Commission. Lancet. 2020 Nov 28;396(10264):1711-1712. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

[2] Eyles Jillian P., Sharma Saurab, Telles Rosa Weiss, Namane Mosedi, Hunter David J., Bowden Jocelyn L. Implementation of Best-Evidence Osteoarthritis Care: Perspectives on Challenges for, and Opportunities From, Low and Middle-Income Countries. Frontiers in Rehabilitation Sciences. 2022.

[3] Chen D, Shen J, Zhao W, et al. Osteoarthritis: toward a comprehensive understanding of pathological mechanism. Bone Res. 2017; 5:16044. Published 2017 Jan 17.

[4] Griffin, Timothy M.; Guilak, Farshid The Role of Mechanical Loading in the Onset and Progression of Osteoarthritis, Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews: October 2005 – Volume 33 – Issue 4 – p 195-200

[5] Egloff C, Hügle T, Valderrabano V. Biomechanics and pathomechanisms of osteoarthritis. Swiss Med Wkly. 2012 Jul 19;142:w13583.

 

 

Thesis nailing: Unique Swedish tradition of PhD celebration.

When I first entered Uppsala University’s engineering building, Ångströmlaboratoriet, I found one thing particularly interesting. Tens of books are nailed high up on the walls. Judging by the placement, I thought these books were obviously not for reading. Upon asking around, I learned that these books were printed doctorate theses that were nailed during the unique Swedish academic tradition called Spikning (or thesis nailing…literally!).

Several weeks before their thesis defense, the doctoral student announces the thesis nailing ritual and celebration. Usually, they will nail a physical copy of their thesis on the walls where their department resides. Of course, another copy will be nailed on an announcement board in the main hall of the building. A little ‘party’ comes after the nailing action, where the colleagues and supervisor can congratulate the doctoral student.

Figure 1. Nailed theses on a corridor of the applied materials science department.

It seems that this tradition has a long history. Inspiration for Spikning may have come from Martin Luther’s nailing of 95 theses on church doors in the 15th century [1]. Since various Christian denomination was already influential in Europe during that time, the idea does not seem too farfetched. If that is indeed true, then it just makes Spikning even more special. After all, I doubt we have many customs from the 15th century that is still a widespread practice now.

I find this unique Swedish academic tradition fascinating because it acts as both an announcement and a celebration. The journey to a doctoral degree is never easy. For many, I am sure it means years of commitment, effort, and perseverance. Thesis nailing offers doctoral students something extraordinary on their finish line: remembrance. The doctor may leave far from the university after the defense, but their thesis copy will stay long. In the corridor where my department resides, the thesis nailed on the walls dates as far back as the 1970s. Decades will pass, technologies will become obsolete, new knowledge will come, but something to remember the achievement will stay. I hope, by the end of BioTrib, I will be able to leave something that I can be proud of on a wall of Uppsala University.

Reference

[1]          “The (seeminlgy) strange custom of nailing PhD theses!,” Chalmeristbloggen, Mar. 09, 2015. https://chalmeristbloggen.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/the-seeminlgy-strange-custom-of-nailing-phd-theses/ (accessed Mar. 14, 2022).

 

This article was written by Vidhiaza Leviandhika as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Dilesh is researching the Development of Development of 3D-printed gradient alloys for joint implant component at Uppsala University, Sweden.

Winner: Bioreactors and Growth Environments for Tissue Engineering

Mr. Manoj Rajankunte Mahadeshwara attended the course on ‘Bioreactors and Growth Environments for Tissue Engineering’ organized by Keele university. This interactive training course was spread across 2 days which targeted at postgraduate students (MSc and PhD) in industry and academia. Attendees were provided with a comprehensive understanding of the use of Bioreactors in Tissue Engineering. The course focused on bioreactors and growth environments for tissue engineering, covering bone, cartilage and connective tissues.

A bioreactor is a simulator that simulates the physiogical or pathological micro environment including physiological loading.

The winning BIOSYN reactor design for cartilage /osteoartis bioreactor.

He along with his team participated in the Bioreactor design challenge and has won the competition. His team designed the Bioreactor design for simulation of synovial joints – ‘BIOSYN’. This design was made to achieve three objectives which are:

  1. To investigate the cartilage-synovial fluid interface.
  2. To establish the effect of hydrostatic pressure of synovial fluid on cartilage/ tissue engineering construct
  3. To investigate how natural/artificial synovial fluid compositions affect cartilage (viability, differentiation status, etc.)

 

Manoj Rajankunte Mahadeshwara is currently a Tribos Erasmus joint Master’s student, pursuing a master’s in Tribology.

Manoj will be joining the University of Leeds in October 2022 for a PhD between the School of Dentistry and the Institute of Functional Surfaces (iFS) funded by a Bragg Centre for Materials Research PhD Scholarship.

Fika: Swedish tradition for ESR

Fika (pronounced fee-ka) is a Swedish coffee break ritual. Swedes sit twice a day, about 10 a.m. in the morning and 3 p.m. in the afternoon. Fika is a Swedish word that roughly translates to “coffee and cake,” but it doesn’t quite capture the essence of the concept. “Fika” is an important component of socializing and maintaining a state of relaxation during the day and between jobs in Sweden, and you do not need to book it in your calendar.

In a nutshell, fika means ‘leaving your work behind and recharging your batteries.’

If you want to explore more about the essential Swedish ritual fika, there is a six-part web series (by Fabian Schmid) online. It is a way of life for some people, an institution for others, and a religion for others; it means different things to different individuals. But one thing is certain: in Sweden, it is a must for a healthy work-life balance.

People were advised to work from home when the covid-pandemic was at its peak, as they would be unable to randomly bump into someone or interact. Despite the pandemic, the Swedes continued to have fika with their coworkers, friends, and family (if in person, following the regulations in keeping the distance). They coined the term “virtual fika,” in which you sit in front of your camera with coffee, cake, and other refreshments and participate in fika.

Personally, I was astounded by the Swedish affection for fika. It not only gives you a respite from work, but it also improves your work efficiency by allowing you to refresh your thoughts for a few minutes. Furthermore, several studies have shown that it can significantly improve the bonding between colleagues in the workplace. Morley et al. [1] brilliantly discusses the fika and its role in today’s academic environment.

‘Fika allows my PhD students to communicate with me more freely and openly about project-related and, more significantly, personal matters. So that I may assist my students in any way I can,’ says Nazanin Emami, professor at Lulea University of Technology’s Division of Machine Element.

As an early-stage researcher, I can discuss my spontaneous project ideas with my colleagues and supervisor, discuss lab concerns, express my opinions on current events, cooperate with other colleagues, keep updates on other projects and and so on. This not only provides me an idea of what’s going on in the industry, but also about my colleague’s innovation and progress. Everything starts with fika and follows the formal protocol, whether it’s trying a new test approach or purchasing a new equipment for the lab. I find that having a moment of freshness helps me figure out where I am with my project. It can also enable your thought process to be redirected to a certain problem. Therefore, it helps to strengthen our relationship as colleagues.

References:

[1] Louise Morley, Petra Angervall, Caroline Berggren & Susanne Dodillet (2018) Re-purposing fika: rest, recreation or regulation in the neoliberalized Swedish University?, European Journal of Higher Education, 8:4, 400-414, DOI: 10.1080/21568235.2018.1458637

 

This article was written by Dilesh Raj Shrestha as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Dilesh is researching the Development of 3D-printable, self-lubricated polymer composites with improved wear resistance for total joint replacement at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.

 

Ben Clegg’s Research Secondment at SimSol

My name is Ben, I am currently a PhD candidate working for Lulea university of Technology in Sweden, with a focus on the biological tribology aspects of total hip replacements.

For the month of February, I was able to visit and experience work at Simulation Solutions (SimSol), based in Stockport, UK.

They are a small to medium sized company with a friendly welcoming atmosphere. Their business strategy is focused on three areas; Warehouse planning, glass imaging and joint simulators. My aim during my placement was to work closely with the joint simulator team, specifically the 6 axis hip simulator that was to be shipped off to Shanghai at the end of the month.

What’s really special about SimSol is that they are one of only four companies that can produce clinically relevant simulators that adhere to the ISO standard (international standard for reproducing clinically relevant hip simulator data) over a few million cycles. This is thanks to their great engineering team.

During my stay I was able to experience the behind-the-scenes mechanical operation, with tasks such as bearing replacement and maintenance, troubleshooting and likely errors/red flags that I should be aware of when it comes to my personal testing. (I will be running the hip simulator in Lulea for many millions of cycles, so knowing what to look out for is imperative, as failures inevitably occur).

I was also able to gain experience calibrating, verifying, and running the system software, which has been designed to be user friendly (maybe only to us engineers though!). Once the test is running, you must ensure that the motors are in tune with the ISO cycle, using PID controls, so that accurate results are obtained.

Overall I gained valuable experience from my months stay at SimSol, which I would like to thank them for, and I am exited to return later in March to learn more about securing and mounting samples in collaboration with DePuy, who are purchasing two newly renovated hip simulators.

I appreciate your time spent reading

Ben Clegg

This article was written by Ben Clegg part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Ben is researching the Wear particle characterization and bio-compatibility of newly 3D printed self-lubricating polymer composites in total joint replacements at Luleå University of Technology, Sweden.

 

The Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Doctoral Students

I have recently attended a workshop called “The Seven Secrets of Highly Successful Doctoral Students”, held by Mr. Hugh Kearns. I would like to share these seven secrets with the research students. These seven secrets are as follows:

1. Care and maintenance of your supervisor

We should keep in mind that our supervisors are always busy and have many priorities along with our project. As it is our research, we need to become the driver. We should ask our supervisors to arrange meetings on a regular basis, even if we have done nothing! This way, we can use their valuable and practical tips and move our project forward. After each meeting, an agenda shall be prepared to indicate the following issues:

  • What I have done since last time
  • Questions/ issues
  • Feedback
  • What I will do next week
  • When is the next meeting?

2. Write and show as you go

Although it seems time-consuming, it is required that the research students regularly write since writing is a creative process clarifying thinking as well as developing ideas. We usually like to write when we feel we are ready, but we may never feel ready; therefore, we should write early, preferably in the morning, on a regular basis. Furthermore, we should get feedback from our supervisors and peers as writing is not improved by itself.

3. Be realistic

4. Say no to distractions

Social media is the number one distraction for wasting our time and for not doing work.

5. It’s a job

Although we should work for a certain amount of time daily, we have holidays as well. Thus, if we specify at what times we should focus on our work and when we do not have to work, we will get more done.

6. Get help

7. You can do it

One of the primary things that can help us significantly is perseverance, and the role of hardworking in making better progress is much more critical than intelligence.

 

 

This article was written by Mahdieh Mosayebias part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Mahdieh is researching the Design of Self Lubricating Prothesis at ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Post assessment of Total Hip Replacement Patient: An integrated AE measurement Technique

For many years, joint replacement of damaged hips has been a standard treatment in orthopaedic surgery. There is currently no mechanism for early detection of implant failure following surgery. Early detection of total hip replacement (THR) failure could lead to more proactive surgical intervention and better patient outcomes. In this instance, the Acoustic Emission (AE) measuring approach may be a good fit as a diagnostic indication for joint health, implant failure modes, and gait analysis.

The previous study’s AE monitoring technique did not collect patient motion data, making it hard to make accurate comparisons between AE events and implant motions, or to determine whether specific AEs are caused by specific implant articulation angles, loads, or angular velocities. FitzPatrick et al. (2022) established a concurrent technique of AE monitoring to combine lower-limb motion and AE data to enable temporal interpretation of acoustic information for gait analysis to study this issue.

Three patients (two males and one female) between the ages of 50 and 70 were taken for a combined AE and gait analysis. They underwent a ceramic-on-ceramic implant bearing hip replacement. Four passive ultrasonic receivers set in a flexible array on the patient’s skin surface from the iliac crest to the upper femur were used to identify AEs. As the patient walked across the room in a straight line at a self-selected speed over a force plate, AE data were recorded. A motion analysis system with six infrared tracking cameras recorded the patient’s limb motions at the same time.

Their findings revealed that AEs are significantly linked to the stance phase of walking, when implant loads are high and the hip joint’s angular velocity is high. The key observation from the male patient was that all of the recorded squeaks happened between 30% and 50% of their individual gait cycle, which pertains to terminal stance, across all walking tests. Interestingly, the situation was significantly different for the female patient; total voltage magnitudes were lowered, and AEs of significant magnitude occurred consistently during the stance phase.

Based on current findings, the exact mechanism that causes implant squeaking is unknown. As a result, ongoing research aims to collect combined AE and gait data from more hip replacement patients in order to evaluate if the findings apply to a larger group of patients and to get greater insight into quantitative relationships between AE activity and hip joint dynamics.

Source: FitzPatrick, A. J., et al. “Synchronized acoustic emission and gait analysis of total hip replacement patients.” Biomedical Signal Processing and Control 74 (2022): 103488.

 

This article was written by MM Raihan as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Raihan is researching In-situ Measurement of Nano-scale Wear Utilising Advanced Sensors at University of Leeds, UK.

International Womens Day – BioTrib

For International Women’s Day 2022 the women in BioTrib have put together a series of 6 interviews and articles covering:

– Why engineering as a profession?
– Women of Impact: Empowered women, empower women. 
– What did you expect your experience of engineering to be like, and how does that compare to reality?
– What skill(s) in particular have helped you during your career?
– What advice would you give to your younger self about entering STEM?
– Do you think that the proportion of women in your field has changed over the course of your career?

Thanks for editing and contributions from Judith SchneiderCecilia PerssonEdona HylaIsobel ReesBeril Saadet YenigülAfrina Khan PiyaDr Lisa-Dionne MorrisFjolla SylajIsobel Pollock-Hulf OBE and Charlotte Merrell

Check it out below!

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 956004 🇪🇺

Ukraine: In the face of adversity the international science community brigades

Ever since Russian invasion of Ukraine we have seen a rise in researchers & scientists coming out in solidarity with Ukrainian students and researchers by sharing opportunities in their universities and labs for them.

One of the initial such opportunities posted on Linkedin by Prof. Yiannis Pontikes reached nearly 150,000 people and is still gaining traction. This led to other scientists posting similar opportunities for the Ukrainian students and researchers leading to the launch of global hashtag #ScienceForUkraine that has been trending on Twitter and Linkedin where scientists throughout the world are sharing opportunities for Ukrainian students to continue their research.

A further online spreadsheet (link: Labs supporting Ukrainian Students) by Andrew Kern @pastramimachine has been created to help Ukrainian scientists locate the professors and funding departments throughout the world at all career levels. There is an interactive website Science for Ukraine to serve the same purpose. These lists are continuously updated and any academic interested in coming forward to help Ukrainian students and researchers can put their details. The list contains more than 500 opportunities at the moment and it is growing quickly.

Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany (DFG) have in their press release announced support for students and researchers from Ukraine under wide-ranging assistance programs being announced or to be announced. Polish academy of Sciences have also launched a website to help Ukrainian students and researchers with funding as well as further support to find a supervisor in their area of research.

Many other EU countries have also launched similar initiatives to support Ukrainians.

We are stronger together, in the face of this adversity the global scientific community has showed that while there may be war, the only way forward for future of science is through support and collaboration at a global scale.

 

This article was written by Sallar Ali Qazi as part of an ongoing series of scientific communications written and curated by BioTrib’s Early Stage Researchers.

Sallar Ali Qazi is researching Mechanical and Tribo-Chemical Wear Modelling of Artificial Joint Prostheses at Imperial College London, UK