Laboratory for Orthopaedic Technology - Prof. Stephen Ferguson

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Our society faces the growing challenge of an ageing population, compounded by ever-increasing expectations for an active lifestyle well into our senior years. Generally, in most countries the number of citizens over the age of 65 is expected to double by 2030. Age-related illnesses in all medical disciplines are a concern and the subject of concentrated research.

The most profound challenge is presented by diseases and pathologies of the musculoskeletal system; the preservation of mobility is a primary factor in the maintenance of a high quality of life well into our senior years. Musculoskeletal diseases are associated with a high morbidity and place a disproportionate economic burden on our healthcare system.

To meet this challenge, the ETH established a Professor of Orthopaedic Technologies in Ageing in 2011. At the center of this professorship is an interdisciplinary research group focused on the development of technologies that will provide an insight into joint and tissue biomechanics, and movement and loading patterns, in order to understand disease processes and work towards new treatments.

These new technologies will be applied in the development of conventional and intelligent implants, passive and bioactive biomaterials, the improvement of implant anchorage, surgical techniques and rehabilitation programs for aged patients. The research program combines basic orthopaedic sciences, biology and engineering, with a strong translational component to transform research findings into clinical applications that can be tested in vitro and in vivo.

Our research activities are grouped into thematic areas related to studies conducted on the scale of the whole body, the tissue and the cell.

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