Harris Orthopaedics Lab

Harris Orthopaedics Lab

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


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.

Group Members


Principal Investigators

  • Charles Bragdon, Ph.D.
  • Hatice Bodugoz-Senturk, Ph.D.
  • Ebru Oral, Ph.D.
  • David A. Bichara, MD

Biomedical Engineers and Technicians

  • Christopher J. Barr
  • Graham J. Beutler
  • David S. Chan
  • Gabrielle S. Donahue
  • Brinda N. Doshi
  • Vincent Galea
  • Daniel K. Hussey
  • Andrew J. Lozynsky
  • Brad R. Micheli
  • Audrey K. Nebergall
  • Vincentius J. Suhardi (student)

Current Research Fellows

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

Director Emeritus

Project Managers

  • Meridith S. Greene
  • Vladislav M. Lerner
  • Shannon L. Rowell
  • Keith K. Wannomae

Information Technology Team

  • Marc Bragdon
  • Joe Zirpolo

Support Staff

  • Nakia J. Cocanougher
  • Sandra Pierre

Visiting Orthopaedic Surgeon

  • Viktor Lindgren, MD
  • Rami Madanat, MD, PhD
  • Carl Rolfson, MD
  • Christian Skovgaard, MD


Academic CRO

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.


  • Study Design
  • Project Management
  • Site Management and Monitoring
    • Assistance with Worldwide Site Selection and Subcontracting
      • US, Australia, S. Africa, UK, Europe
    • Site Payments
    • Recruitment and Follow-up Optimization
  • Data Management using CFR 21 Part 11 Compliant Data Collection and Reporting System
    • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
    • Radiographic Analysis
    • Soft Tissue Imaging Analysis
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Significant Adverse Event Monitoring and Reporting
  • Scientific Manuscript Development and Presentations at International Conferences
  • Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) Set-up and Coordination

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.

Academic Program

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

Research Projects

Our research projects are mainly in:

  1. Material and animal model development for arthroplasty and resurfacing
  2. Material and 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

Research Positions

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 websitehere.


Original Research

Our most research is listed below. See ourPDFfor a complete listing.

  1. Foster SA, Hambright DS, Antoci V, Greene ME, Malchau H, Kwon YM. Effects of Obesity on Health Related Quality of Life Following Total Hip Arthroplasty. J Arthroplasty. 2015 Mar 31.
  2. Oral E, Neils AL, Doshi BN, Fu J, Muratoglu OK. Effects of simulated oxidation on the in vitro wear and mechanical properties of irradiated and melted highly crosslinked UHMWPE. J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2015 Mar 12.
  3. Sillesen NH, Greene ME, Nebergall AK, Nielsen PT, Laursen MB, Troelsen A, Malchau H. Three Year RSA Evaluation of Vitamin E Diffused Highly Cross-linked Polyethylene Liners and Cup Stability. J Arthroplasty. 2015 Feb 18.
  4. Hansen VJ, Gromov K, Lebrun LM, Rubash HE, Malchau H, Freiberg AA. Does the Risk Assessment and Prediction Tool predict discharge disposition after joint replacement? Clin Orthop Relat Res. 473(2):597-601 (2015 Feb).
  5. Malchau H, Graves SE, Porter M, Harris WH, Troelsen A. The next critical role of orthopedic registries. Acta Orthop. 86(1):3-4 (2015 Feb).
  6. Oral E, Neils AL, Wannomae KK, Muratoglu OK. Novel active stabilization technology in highly crosslinked UHMWPEs for superior stability. Radiat Phys Chem. 105:6-11 (2014 Dec).
  7. Greene ME, Rader KA, Garellick G, Malchau H, Freiberg AA, Rolfson O. The EQ-5D-5L Improves on the EQ-5D-3L for Health-related Quality-of-life Assessment in Patients Undergoing Total Hip Arthroplasty. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2014 Dec 9.
  8. Gromov K, Greene ME, Sillesen NH, Troelsen A, Malchau H, Huddleston JI, Emerson R, Garcia-Cimbrelo E, Gebuhr P; Multicenter Writing Committee. Regional differences between US and Europe in radiological osteoarthritis and self assessed quality of life in patients undergoing total hip arthroplasty surgery. J Arthroplasty. 29(11):2078-83 (2014 Nov).
  9. Hansen VJ, Greene ME, Bragdon MA, Nebergall AK, Barr CJ, Huddleston JI, Bragdon CR, Malchau H. Registries collecting level-I through IV Data: institutional and multicenter use: AAOS exhibit selection. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 96(18):e160 (2014 Sep).
  10. Bichara DA, Malchau E, Sillesen NH, Cakmak S, Nielsen GP, Muratoglu OK. Vitamin E-diffused highly cross-linked UHMWPE particles induce less osteolysis compared to highly cross-linked virgin UHMWPE particles in vivo. J Arthroplasty. 29(9 suppl):232-7 (2014 Sep).

Complete publications listing

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