Bioengineering

Medical expertise combined with mechanical engineering skills has created the research and applicational work in Bioengineering. The human skeleton and soft tissue provide the foundation to our designing and developing a large number of implants for patients suffering from bone cancer or bone tumours. Our research focus is on implants for limb-salvage surgery and recently on implants that require complex surface development using multiple software design packages. These complex implants are used in replacement surgery for the scapula, the pelvis, the trapezium and the talus or any other bone with a complicated surface structure. The implants are designed for anatomical reconstruction of the skeleton, which in most cases, offers not only a better solution for the smooth transmission of forces, but also helps the patient from an aesthetic perspective. Modular implant systems designed by this group for both upper and lower limbs have been used in surgical operations at hospitals in South Africa and India.
Research currently focuses on improving the manufacturing processes for the implants and identifying new technologies, new choices of materials, treatment of articulating surfaces, as well as osseo-integration between skeletal tissue and implant. This has brought collaboration in research and development with academic institutions in South Africa and in India.

 

CURRENT RESEARCH FOCUS

Bioengineering implant design and software integration

Maxillo–facial reconstruction

Development of implants for use in bone tumour surgery

Osseo-integration between natural bone and implant materials using stem cell technology

Bio-compatible materials selection for bone implants

Implant materials research

 

KEY RESEARCH COLLABORATORS

Central University of Technology

Centre for Materials Engineering ( University of Cape Town )

Tata Memorial Hospital Mumbai ( India )

University of Stellenbosch

Department of Architecture ( University of Cape Town )

Department of Surgery ( University of Cape Town Medical School )

Department of Human Biology ( University of Cape Town Medical School )

International Implant Manufacturers and Suppliers

 

SPONSORS

Medical Research Council of South Africa

 

AWARDS

Inventor of the Year 2011 ( Popular Mechanics ) ( Dr George Vicatos )

Cutting Edge Technology Award 2011 ( Popular Mechanics ) ( Dr George Vicatos )

Best patent of the year 2003 ( Dr George Vicatos )

 

SPECIALISED FACILITIES

Laser titanium alloy component formation laboratory (Central University of Technology)

Rapid prototyping equipment – Department of Architecture (University of Cape Town )

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