Research Centers


Harris Orthopaedics Lab (HOL)

The Harris Orthopaedics Lab comprises preclinical biomechanical research and biomaterials testing along with clinical research involving in vivo follow-up of implant performance.

Awards & Honors from the Harris orthopaedics Lab

Read about awards & honors earned by members of the HOL.

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.


Principal Investigators

Biomedical Engineers and Technicians

  • Chris Barr
  • David Chan
  • Brinda Doshi
  • Viktor Hansen
  • Daniel Hussey
  • Zachary Konsin
  • Brad Micheli
  • Amy Moreira
  • Audrey Nebergall
  • Andrew Neils
  • Colin Ng
  • Christopher Reyes
  • Jeremy Suhardi
  • Bianca Trombetta (intern)
  • Jerel Ward (intern)

Current Research Fellows

  • Valentin Antoci Jr., MD
  • Neil Dion, MD
  • Steven Schroder, MD
  • Jonathon Spanyer, MD

Director Emeritus

Post Doctoral Research Fellows

  • David A. Bichara, M.D.

Visiting Scholar

  • Jean Langlois, MD

Project Managers

  • Meredith Greene
  • Shannon Rowell
  • Donna Scarborough
  • Keith Wannomae

Information Technology Team

  • Marc Bragdon
  • Joe Zirpolo

Research Nurses

  • Janet Dorrwachter, N.P.
  • Sara Jane Wessinger, R.N.

Support Staff

  • Nakia Cocanougher-Roby
  • Sandra Pierre
  • Elizabeth Rafferty

Visiting Orthopaedic Surgeon

  • Rami Madanat, MD


Our research projects are mainly in:

  1. Material and animal model development for arthroplasty and resurfacing
  2. Materialand animal model development for focal cartilage defect repair
  3. Biomaterials and biomechanical testing and device development
  4. Clinical evaluation of new implants and materials
  5. Evaluation of new surgical techniques and technology
  6. Evaluation of quality control measures and cost effectiveness analysis
  7. Development and evaluation of methods for measuring performance, wear, stability, etc. from clinical radiographs

The Harris Laboratory commonly provides 2-3 year training pre-doctoral or pre-medical positions for recent undergraduates with science and engineering backgrounds. There are available positions at the pre-graduate and post-graduate level (doctoral student, post-doctoral fellow, medical student, clinical research fellow, and visiting scientist). The funded specific positions can be found at the Massachusetts General Hospital employment website here.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow – Mass General Researchers Put Their Stamp on Joint Arthroplasty

Marking the 10 year anniversary of the first clinical use of highly cross-linked polyethylene

ORS 2013 Annual Meeting Workshop Webcast – Antioxidant Stabilization of Highly Cross-Linked UHMWPE

Original Research

Our most research is listed below. See our PDF for a complete listing.

  1. Malchau H. Editorial. Introduction new technology: A stepwise Algorithm. Spine. 2000;25(285).
  2. Macias C, Bodugoz-Senturk H, Muratoglu OK. Quantification of PVA Hydrogel Dissolution in Water and Bovine Serum. Polymer. 54(2):724-29. (2013).
  3. Choi H, Kwon YM, Freiberg AA, Nelson S, Malchau H. Periprosthetic Joint Infection with Negative Culture Results: Clinical Characteristics and Treatment Outcome. Accepted for Publication in Journal of Arthroplasty, March 20 2013.
  4. Troelsen A, Malchau E, Sillesen N, Malchau H. A Review of Current Fixation Usage and Registry Outcomes in Total Hip Arthroplasty: The Uncemented Paradox. Accepted for Publication in CORR. March 14, 2013.
  5. Davies C, Briggs A, Lorgelly P, Garellick G, Malchau H. The “Hazards” of Extrapolating Survival Curves. Medical Decision Making 33:369. March 2013.
  6. Senturk HB, Oral E, Choi J, Macias C, Muratoglu OK. Molecular Weight Effect on Theta-gel formation in Poly(vinyl alcohol)-poly(ethylene glycol) Mixtures. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 125(4):2890-95 (2012).
  7. Oral E, Neils A, Rowell S, Lozynsky A, Muratoglu OK. Increasing Irradiation Temperature Maximizes Vitamin E Grafting and Wear Resistance of UHMWPE. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. 101(3): 436-40. (2012).
  8. Oral E, Neils A, Rowell S, Lozynsky A, Muratoglu OK. Increasing Irradiation Temperature Maximizes Vitamin E Grafting and Wear Resistance of UHMWPE. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research. 101(3): 436-40. (2012).
  9. Oral E, Neils A, Lyons C, Fung M, Doshi B, Muratoglu OK. Surface Crosslinked UHMWPE Can Enable the Use of Larger Femoral Heads in Total Joints. Journal of Orthopaedic Research. 31(1):59-66 (2012).
  10. Oral E, Beckos C, Muratoglu OK. Homogenization of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide Enhances the Diffusion of Vitamin E in UHMWPE . Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 124 (1): 518-24.

Complete publications listing