With Aero Technology Transfer to Hip and Knee Joints
Wallwork Cambridge, has been awarded funding from Innovate UK, the government backed sponsor of breakthrough technologies, to research the medical application of our aircraft bearing hardening technology in human implants. The development combines our expertise in making landing gear bearings lighter and stronger with the Agilliant process to contain tissue damaging ion leakage and provide active protection against post-operative infection.
We currently apply a duplex process on titanium landing gear bearings for the Airbus 350 and 380 passenger jets. Dr Jonathan Housden explained, “The duplex coating process opens the way for a new generation of light, strong, safer and durable titanium implants. The programme has promise as an enabling technology that may lead to customised implants made by additive manufacturing. These will be more comfortable for the patient with fewer complications caused by post-operative infection and mechanical wear.”
Early accelerated life testing to simulate years of use suggest that the joints will, in many cases, outlive the patient. It is hoped that this will lead to a £300 million annual saving for the NHS by allowing more efficient use of orthopaedic resources as rework of failed or compromised treatments is avoided. The first human trials may be in four years with full clinical adoption in seven to ten years.