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Release: May 10, 2000

UI orthopaedic surgery department receives $2.58 million grant

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A University of Iowa Health Care research team has received a five-year, $2.58 million grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease.

Thomas Brown, Ph.D., the Richard C. Johnston Professor of Orthopaedic Biomechanics, will lead an investigation focusing on the biomechanics of the hip. The new project will build on findings from earlier research, including an investigation involving the UI biomechanics team and Iowa State University researcher Michael G. Conzemius, D.V.M.

The goal of this new project is to apply computational modeling advances to study load transmission abnormalities in several orthopaedic disorders involving the hip. The research involves mechanical design improvements for total hip replacements, developing better surgical techniques to manage joint fractures and to treat childhood hip deformities, and a new implant to protect against hip joint destruction in bone circulatory disease.

Although bioengineering capabilities exist -- in principle -- to quantify key mechanical factors influencing treatment outcomes for these hip conditions, current clinical decision making still rests almost entirely on subjective observations.

"We hope that our work leads to better, more scientific ways to determine what treatments will work best for these important orthopaedic disorders of the hip joint, which disable large numbers of people," Brown said.

The UI collaborative team of bioengineers and surgeons includes Douglas Pedersen, Ph.D., a researcher in orthopaedic surgery; Anneliese Heiner, Ph.D., a researcher in orthopaedic surgery; John Callaghan, M.D., professor of orthopaedic surgery; Richard Brand, M.D., professor of orthopaedic surgery and biomedical engineering; J. Lawrence Marsh, M.D., professor of orthopaedic surgery; and Stuart Weinstein, M.D., Ignacio V. Ponseti professor of orthopaedic surgery.

University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.