Student Spotlight Update - Lewis Woollin,  
Newcastle University

In June 2018, we introduced Lewis Woolin, who is a PHD student at Newcastle University. Lewis is working alongside Jointmedica, looking into the development of a new generation of hip replacement.

We have recently caught up with Lewis to discuss his work so far and we were delighted to hear that he had recently been awarded 1st Place for the best presentation at the annual internal mechanical engineering conference, held at Newcastle University, for the second year running.


PhD Project Update – Year 2

"Currently I’m in the second year of my PhD, the work I’ve done so far has focussed on several research areas. I’m working to test the samples provided by Jointmedica to investigate fields such as quantifying the wear resistance of novel polyethylene materials and investigating the potential benefits of the novel implant designed by Jointmedica. A large portion of the project so far has been spent designing components and fixtures to allow for testing of this novel design; hip simulator testing will form a core of the project and the design work for this has recently been completed allowing testing to begin later this summer. 

I have also been working with another PhD student at Newcastle University to validate a new method for measuring the polyethylene debris particles produced by hip implants as the head and cup components wear over time, which occurs in the body contributing to failure of the joint. The current method for measuring the size and concentration of the debris (using Field-Emission-Gun Scanning Electron Microscopy) is time consuming and user intensive, but we have shown that NanoParticle Tracking Analysis can also be used to measure the quantity and size of particles present, and is a comparatively fast and simple technique. As part of this work we have written a validation paper, which is currently under review for publication. 

One area of work that will be increasingly significant is the use of the next-generation pin-on-plate wear test tribometer that I designed in my undergraduate degree at Newcastle with my PhD supervisor Dr Philip Hyde. This machine is designed for early stage material wear testing, and I’ll be using it to investigate the properties of multiple state of the art polyethylene materials, under physiologically relevant loading conditions that current pin-on-plate technology cannot reproduce. 

Image 4 - PHR.png

CGI image of a Metal on Crosslinked Polyethline Hip Resurfacing Jointmedica Ltd

Looking outward I have also presented my work at an annual internal mechanical engineering conference held at Newcastle University. I have presented at this conference in 2018, winning 1stplace for the best presentation in the day 1 presentation session and I recently presented again at the 2019 conference, winning 1stplace for the best second year student presentation. In summary the project to-date is proceeding well, I’m planning on presenting my work so far at upcoming conferences and I’m excited to see the hip simulator test results for Jointmedica’s novel device at the end of the year."