Since 1995, they have been studying the cellular response to hip prosthesis wear particles in order to understand and eliminate the consequences of this wear, specifically osteolysis and implant loosening, which result in pain and disability for the patients. Given the ever increasing popularity of the use of metal-on-metal prostheses in young patients, they are also studying the clinical relevance of elevated blood cobalt and chromium ion levels in patients with these prostheses.
Since 2000, the Lab has also been studying intervertebral disc degeneration, which is a source of low back pain. This disorder affects about 60% of the population by age 70. The research has been focused on the repair of damaged discs using stem cells harvested from the bone marrow of live adult donors. A further interest has been to evaluate the application of quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as a diagnostic tool of early disc damage.
More recently, the Lab has started studying the influence of surface chemistry and geometry on the growth and differentiation of cells in the hopes of developing better treatments to orthopaedic problems.