Improvements in Outcomes for Total Joint Patients from the Harris Lab
In This Video
- Orhun K. Muratoglu, PhD, is director of the Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory and director of the Technology Implementation Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital
- Ebru Oral, PhD, is associate director of biomaterials at Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital
- Here, they discuss their work at the Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory to improve outcomes in total joint patients
- After successfully developing a bearing surface for joint replacements, they are now working to combat infection in joint surgery
In this video, Othun Muratoglu, PhD, director of Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Ebru Oral, PhD, associate director of biomaterials at the Harris Orthopaedics Laboratory, work to improve outcomes in total joint patients. After successfully developing a bearing surface for joint replacements, they are now working to combat infection in joint surgery.
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Dr. Muratoglu: Harris Laboratory was established in the late 1960s, and our primary goal is to help improve outcomes in total joint patients.
Dr. Oral: I call it a truly translational laboratory, and that is different than typical academic laboratories, where the horizon is possibly 10 years, 15 years for developing a technology. We are really in the midst of the clinicians and the clinical environment and therefore, we are always focused on bringing something useful to the
patients to fruition.
Dr. Muratoglu: Our laboratory has multiple groups. One group of us are actually working on basic science and basic materials technologies. Another group is working on designing more functional and better-performing implants. Another group is carrying out most of our animal studies. And our fourth group is doing all of our clinical trials with patients.
Dr. Oral: At the Harris Orthopaedic lab, we have a long history of developing ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene as a bearing surface for joint replacements. We have tried to solve many problems including osteolysis over the years.
Dr. Muratoglu: Today, data that's coming from many different centers around the world shows that with the use of the highly crossing polyethylenes, the extent of periprosthetic osteolysis is reduced substantially. Now that that problem's behind us, we're now focusing our research efforts on other problems in joint surgery.
Dr. Oral: We are now focusing on infection because this is a very morbid condition that affects about 1-2% of all patients. So we decided to use the bearing surface that is currently being used and introduce antibiotics into the bearing surface, so we can have a fully functional implant but at the same time, be delivering these medications in a controlled manner to treat infection.
Dr. Oral: I'm working currently on a large project--putting pain medication into these bearing surfaces. This is a slightly different application, but it's very timely. As you know, we have an opioid epidemic in our country, especially in our state, and if we are trying to find ways in which to address both surgical pain with non-opioid medication locally so patients don't need to use as much opioid systemically. And this is very exciting to me, and I hope that the next couple of years we'll be having some great results on this project.
Learn about the Harris Orthopedic Laboratory
Refer a patient to the Department of Orthopaedics