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The Harris Orthopaedic Laboratory (HOL) has over five decades of experience in addressing problems in adult reconstructive surgery by innovating new surgical techniques, devices, joint implant designs, and joint implant materials. Notably, several formulations of highly cross-linked ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), stabilized by re-melting or vitamin E,weredeveloped for large scale usage in implant manufacturing in this laboratory and havesince changed the landscape of joint replacement by reducing the number of wear particles and instances of osteolysis associated with total joint implants. After about a decade of use, these materials have become the gold standard in joint replacement, especially of the hip.
One focus area of the laboratory today is advancing material development in joint repair and replacement. Under the direction of Orhun K. Muratoglu, PhD, the pre-clinical material research team develops novel UHMWPEs for improving the longevity of joint implants and expanding the use of joint replacement safely to younger and more active patients. Another cutting edge area is the development of non-degradable hydrogel-based materials for integrative and mechanically feasible repair of cartilage defects at an early degenerative state. The materials research team collectively brings experience in material and polymer science, polymer chemistry, biomaterials and biomechanics testing and bench-to-clinic implant development as well as follow-up testing of explanted devices to analyze in vivo effects.
While the HOL has a strong and successful history in joint replacement, our current projects include applying our expertise to other musculoskeletal systems such as the hydrogel-based treatment of degenerative spine conditions and improving the mechanical and integrative properties of bone grafts.
Another major area of focus is follow-up and analysis of clinical implant performance to provide evidence-based feedback to patients and clinicians. Under the direction of Henrik Malchau, MD, PhD, the clinical research team develops local and regional implant registries in collaboration with orthopaedic surgeons in arthroplasty, spine, hand, sports medicine, trauma, and orthopaedic oncology.They also conduct prospective clinical studies nationally and internationally on alternative bearing materials and new implant designs, which provide fast and valuable information on the performance of newly developed implants and helps compare them to historical standards. These studies also can provide feedback on surgical techniques and skills to improve clinical outcomes.
As a full-service Academic Contract Research Organization (ACRO), the Harris Orthopaedics Lab provides comprehensive clinical research services, drawing upon the clinical trial expertise of its Harvard Medical School affiliated academic faculty and Massachusetts General Hospital affiliated professional staff.
Harris Orthopaedics Lab is associated with a number of Joint Registries in the US, Australia, UK and the Nordic countries, enabling us to limit duplicate data entry, offer improved study site management and communication, as well as follow patient outcomes long-term via the registries.
The ACRO helps sponsor MD/PhD students with an interest in registry science in a visiting Fellowship program designed to develop the students skills in clinical outcomes research and the analysis of large data sets obtained through collaboration with national and regional arthroplasty registries. The fellowships range from six months to one year. During their time in Boston, the students take advantage of the training courses offered by MGH and Harvard University, such as those related to ethics, statistical analysis, proper conduct of human research and leadership development. Educational opportunities include: travel to national and international conferences such as the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the International Society of Arthroplasty Registries; interaction with leaders in the field of arthroplasty registries; visits to national registry sites and interaction with various registry leaders; participation in data mining and data analysis; abstract and manuscript preparation.
This program is well suited for clinician scientists interested in making the conduct of clinical outcomes studies and registry interaction a part of their career and for those who reside in countries with established or developing national and regional registries. Past participants: Denmark: Karl Tobias Haak MD, PhD; Henrik Palm MD, PhD; Anders Troelsen MD, PhD, Kirill Gromov MD, PhD; Nanna H. Sillesen MD, PhD; Christian Skovgaard Nielsen MD, PhD · Sweden: Ola Rolfson MD, PhD; Viktor Lindgren MD, PhD · Finland: Rami Madanat MD, PhD.
Academic CRO Publications
Harris Orthopaedic Investigators are authors of more than 75 patents worldwide. Click the links to find more detailed information.
Our research projects are mainly in:
There are no available openings at this time.
August 17, 2016
The Harris Orthopedic Laboratory (HOL) at MGH specializes in translational research for orthopedic biomaterials and implants. HOL is looking to hire a fulltime post-doctoral research fellow for a 2-year appointment. The laboratory is a focal point in the orthopedic research community for development of new materials and test methods for total joint replacements, which are implanted in over 1 million patients in the US alone each year. This is a great opportunity for scientists looking to apply their basic knowledge in translational research.
Peri-prosthetic osteolysis (resorption of bone around implants causing loosening), a major problem compromising the longevity of joint implants, was drastically reduced over the last decade due to radiation cross-linking of ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) bearings. Our lab has pioneered work in the radiation cross-linking of UHMWPE as well as the incorporation of antioxidants for oxidative stabilization. A major unaddressed problem in joint replacement and in orthopaedic implants in general is implant-associated infections. We are specifically interested in developing technologies that prevent and treat infection in a multi-modal manner using implant materials and implantation algorithms. The post-doctoral fellow will be responsible for (i) formulating methods of triggered release of antimicrobial agents; and (ii) evaluating efficacy and safety of formulations in vitro and in pre-clinical animal models.
We are interested in interviewing candidates with a strong polymer science and materials science background. Experience with general polymer characterization methods, and familiarity with bacterial cultures is preferred.
Degree Requirements: Ph.D. in Materials Science, Polymer Science, Chemical Engineering, Polymer Chemistry, or equivalent experience with polymers is required.
Location: Mass General Hospital - Main Campus
Contact Person: Ebru Oral, Ph.D.
Cross-linked ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is the bearing material of choice in joint replacement implants worldwide due to its high wear resistance. Our lab has pioneered the work in radiation and peroxide cross-linking of UHMWPE as well as the incorporation of antioxidants for oxidative stabilization. One of our long-term goals is improving the fatigue crack initiation resistance, toughness, and strength of cross-linked UHMWPEs to enable more patient-friendly designs and to increase the lifetime and function of implants. High temperature melting (HTM) of crosslinked UHMWPE is one method that improves the ultimate tensile strength and toughness through controlled degradation of the polymeric network and increased diffusion of chains through grain boundaries. We are specifically interested in investigating further this toughening mechanism for chemically cross-linked polyethylene bearing surfaces with HTM. The postdoctoral fellow will be responsible for leading our efforts in (i) understanding the changes in the molecular structure, (ii) crystalline morphology, (iii) macrostructure of the polymer under various cross-linking conditions. The HOL is equipped with all of the necessary processing and analytical tools to carry out this project. In addition, HOL has access to the shared facilities of Harvard University and MIT.
We are interested in interviewing candidates with strong polymer science and materials science background. Experience with general polymer characterization methods, and familiarity with polymer processing is preferred.
September 01, 2016
The Harris Orthopedic Laboratory (HOL) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is focused on the development of polymeric and hybrid materials in orthopaedics. HOL is seeking a highly motivated individual for an entry level research position to support our translational research program in implantable biomaterial development. This position is ideal for new engineering graduates interested in the medical application of basic research, and is a great opportunity for those who want to gain some experience before continuing their education in graduate or medical school.
With more than 10,000 employees in the greater Boston area, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is a leading employer for healthcare professionals. It is also one of the teaching hospitals for Harvard Medical School and provides the opportunity to train with accredited faculty. For research employees, HOL and MGH offer an academically competitive compensation package including; subsidized medical and prescription coverage; possible educational reimbursement; and so much more!
Specific technical functions:
General laboratory functions:
How To Apply: Please send an email with your resume and cover letter in pdf format to Ebru Oral
Harris Orthopaedics Lab
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