MQ Health - Macquarie University


Research Team Photo Frontier Article

Research – Taking a joint approach

At MQ Health, academic surgeons are collaborating with biomedical engineers in Macquarie University’s unique state-of-the-art Orthopaedic Biomechanics Laboratory to gain a deeper understanding of how soft tissues and joints behave under different conditions. This type of research has a profound impact on improving surgical treatments for various conditions affecting joints as well as influencing the design of the next generation of joint replacements. Our goal is to marry surgical need with engineering research to bring new and improved technologies and approaches to patient care.

Associate Professor Sumit Raniga is the first Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeon’s to be awarded the prestigious Charles S. Neer Award in 2016 by the American Shoulder and Elbow Society for his contribution to shoulder research. With a background in molecular medicine as well as biomechanical research, Associate Professor Raniga joined MQ Health with a vision to develop a world-class orthopaedic research program that focuses on basic scientific research that improves prosthesis design, surgical techniques and rehabilitation to improve patient outcomes.

To this end, Associate Professor Raniga submitted a detailed proposal outlining his vision of developing a shoulder research lab and has been awarded a research grant of $600,000 to build a the MQ Health Translational Shoulder Research Program and Asia-Pacific’s first six degree of freedom, eight muscle actuated, cadaveric shoulder simulator. This funding has allowed the assembly of a multidisciplinary team that enables an intensive collaboration between academic shoulder surgeons, radiologists, physiotherapists, biomechanical engineers, basic scientists and industry to improve patient outcomes through translational orthopaedic research.

The new shoulder biomechanics lab and research program will have a strong focus on improving patient outcomes through evidence-based evolution of all aspects of shoulder surgery and rehabilitation. The first phase of our research program involves building the most advanced Cadaveric Shoulder Simulator to allow innovative biomechanical implant testing and development of improved surgical techniques. The MQ Health Translational Shoulder Program under the direction of Associate Professor Raniga will have multiple chapters of research. These will include but are not limited to:

  • In Vitro Cadaveric Shoulder  Biomechanical Simulation to improve joint replacement prosthesis design, 
  • 3D computer modelling to gain a better understanding of normal and abnormal anatomy.
  • Improve techniques in 3D preoperative planning and accuracy of intraoperative implantation to improve patient outcomes after shoulder replacement surgery.
  • Develop novel surgical solutions for challenging shoulder pathologies.
  • Improved understanding of different forms of shoulder rehabilitation to improve patient outcomes.
  • Develop novel molecular therapies for certain shoulder conditions.

To learn more about Associate Professor Sumit Raniga click on the link to read his Pure Profile.