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Professor Andrew Amis (Mechanical Engineering) on improving treatments for peope with sports injuries and how his devices help people sleep at night.
What is your role at Imperial?
I am Professor of Orthopaedic Biomechanics; I run two research groups, with one based in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the other in the Department of Surgery and Cancer on the Charing Cross Campus. My work is related to arthritis and artificial joint replacement.
Can you describe your research area?
I focus on two main areas, one is improving the design and performance of artificial hip and knee joints, and the other is developing improved treatments for people with sports injuries, like ligament injuries in the knee.
What are you inventing at the moment?
The current procedure for patients with arthritis is to wait until it is severe before operating to fit an artificial knee joint. I’m working with Professor Justin Cobb from the Department of Surgery and Cancer to develop a system where very small partial joint replacements are intended to treat the patient with a smaller operation at a much earlier stage. We designed them to replace the parts of the joints which are most commonly damaged first.
Why does the world need these?
An increasing proportion of the population is living longer and has an expectation of remaining physically active for longer, putting further stress on the joints. Therefore there is a huge need for this sort of treatment.
How does it feel to create such useful devices?
It’s really good to meet patients afterwards because the artificial joints are extremely good at curing the pain that they have from arthritis and so, as well as helping them to walk normally, on a more basic level it actually helps them to sleep at night.
“As well as helping them to walk normally, it actually helps them to sleep at night.”
Anoushka Warden, Imperial Innovations