UT researchers participated in prototyping innovative materials for endoprotheses

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Reseachers of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Tartu participated in the international orthopaedicians’ consortium HypOrth, which developed innovative materials for orthopaedic joint implants. These materials can reduce patients’ post-surgery infection risks and the probability of implant loosening.

Head of the Department of Traumatology and Orthopaedics of the UT Institute of Clinical Medicine, Professor of Orthopaedics Aare Märtson explained that in the five-year project, UT researchers were in charge of collecting material for analysis and creating the database. “We cooperated with medical doctors of the Magdeburg University Hospital in Germany and the Tartu University Hospital. They helped us collect clinical samples and materials from more than 400 patients to whom a hip or knee endoprosthesis was implanted. We also performed genetic studies on all patients who participated in the study,” Märtson said.

Head of the Department of Pathophysiology of the UT Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, Professor of Pathophysiology Sulev Kõks explained that as a result of the genetic research, the university researchers ascertained the genes and genetic variants that have a significant role in causing the loosening of an implant. “We showed that in patients with certain genetic variants, the lifetime of a specific type of implant will be half as long as in others. This knowledge helps us apply personalised medicine for joint prosthetics. In future it will be possible to identify biomarkers that would predict prostheses-related complications, and help the doctor to select the most suitable prosthesis for the patient,” said Kõks.

The final meeting of the HypOrth consortium took place in Magdeburg, Germany, at the end of June. The consortium had eight partners from eight countries: besides the clinical partners from Germany and Estonia, researchers from Denmark, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland and Spain were involved in the project. From the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Tartu, the Department of Traumatology and Orthopaedics of the Institute of Clinical Mediicine, and the Department of Pathophysiology of the Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine participated in the project.

Further information can be found on the HypOrth website.

Further information:
Aare Märtson, Head of Department of Traumatology and Orthopaedics of the UT Institute of Clinical Medicine, 731 8280, aare.martson@ut.ee
Sulev Kõks, Head of Department of Pathophysiology of the UT Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine, 737 4371, sulev.koks@ut.ee

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