Canada Research Chair in Bioengineering in Orthopedics
Tier 2 - 2008-05-01
University of Ottawa
613-562-5800 ext. 8589
Coming to Canada from
Baxter Healthcare Corporation, USA
Establishing therapeutic approaches to extend the life span of joint implants, as well as bone tissue engineering approaches to develop new substitutes for bone loss
Helping increase the success rate of joint implants and offering new treatment options for patients suffering from bone loss
Advancing Joint Implant Longevity and Bone Substitutes
In 2004-05, surgeons performed more than 58,000 hip and knee replacements in Canada. Thirty-five per cent of their patients were under the age of 65. Therefore, many will outlive their implants and will need to have them replaced. Indeed, joint replacements are very efficient at removing pain and restoring joint function, but unfortunately, current implants do not last indefinitely.
Many of these failures come from bone loss around the prosthesis (called periprosthetic osteolysis), mainly caused by small particles (called “wear particles”,) coming from the implant wearing down and gradually inducing inflammation. Many other chronic diseases, such as non-union fractures or bone carcinoma also involve bone loss. These patients then need bone substitutes to repair their bone defects.
As Canada Research Chair in Bioengineering in Orthopedics, Dr. Isabelle Catelas’ goal is to improve the mobility and quality of life of patients suffering from musculoskeletal diseases, particularly periprosthetic osteolysis, and other bone-loss conditions. To accomplish this goal, Catelas will take a multi-faceted approach, bringing together ideas from a range of disciplines—such as cell and molecular biology, materials science and nanotechnologies, as well as medicine.
As part of her research, Catelas will help us understand why and how joint prostheses fail, knowledge that will lead to the development of therapeutic approaches to control the biological mechanisms triggered in our bodies by wear particles from the prostheses. The result will be implants that last longer—good news for the growing numbers of Canadians needing joint replacements.
Catelas will also develop bone tissue engineering approaches to successfully induce mineralization and vascularization (the development of blood vessels) of bone substitutes, currently a critical challenge in bone tissue engineering. These enhancing bone regeneration approaches will provide alternative treatments to patients, giving them additional improved options for battling bone loss.
As our population lives longer, more and more people will need joint replacements, or will have to deal with bone loss. Catelas’ research in these areas is, therefore, an important step forward for those patients.