Outreach for the vets and medics of the future

As well as welcoming students at the Department of Veterinary Medicine, we are very lucky to be able to visit students elsewhere to share our knowledge and enthusiasm for research. 
Matthew Allen recently visited Millfield School in Somerset where he gave a lecture and a dissection workshop for an amazing group of future vets and medics. Thanks very much to Millfield for the opportunity and such a warm welcome!

#MillfieldSchool #FutureVetsandMedics #sharingresearch #loveresearch#surgicaldiscoverycentre #SDC #veterinary #camvetschool

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Visiting studentship for PhD studies in Mechanical Engineering with Orthopaedics

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We are delighted to welcome Petra Bonacic Bartolin for a 3 month visit combining engineering with orthopaedic research, under the joint supervision of Professors Michael Sutcliffe and Matthew Allen.

Petra graduated from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Zagreb, Croatia in 2011 (master’s degree with highest honor) and then Petra worked as a mechanical designer in industry and EU project manager for two years.

In 2014 she became project manager and teaching assistant at University of Applied Sciences, Zagreb. She was involved with preparation of the teaching materials and giving lectures in Mechanics, Strength of Materials and Theory of Machines and in preparation of the EU project proposal. She was also the leader in developing a new study program, Prosthetics and Orthotics under the EU project related to the Croatian Qualifications Framework.

In 2015, Petra successfully started her PhD at Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture under the University of Zagreb. PhD thesis is related to numerical and experimental testing of anterior cruciate ligament, as well as modeling new biomechanical implant support for healing of the ACL. Since 2017, Petra has been a Research and teaching assistant at Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture and in 2018, she founded the Orthopedic Engineering Society together with her supervisor Dr.sc. Damir Hudetz, orthopedic surgeon, the aim is to promote orthopedic science and the application of engineering in the orthopedic field of research.

In 2019, Petra won a short – term fellowship in the University of Cambridge, which will involve experimental testing on the canine knee model to determine and compare the biomechanical parameters of biologically healthy knee joints and those who have an implant. The research is also carried out in order to improve the testing protocol, based on the processed data, and to improve the existing prosthesis and methods for treating damaged knee joints in dogs.

Recently she got National Award for best paper Biomechanical flaws of cutting-edge approaches in ACL repair surgery tested on a sheep model,18th ESSKA Congress, 9-12 May 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK.

3D Planning to facilitate complex surgeries

Our 3D printers are always keeping busy, and along with some complex 3D modelling and design techniques, and great team work we can facilitate complex orthopaedic surgeries at the QVSH.

We are delighted to report that Rocco is doing really well one year post surgery, using that leg much more than before his operation, and thanks to his lovely owner we were able to share his story recently in the Camvet graduate newsletter.

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Further information on the work Camvet do to support the facilities and teaching at the QVSH can be found on their website https://camvet.vet.cam.ac.uk/

Engineering updates...

Our Engineering Student Fran has been hard at work this term using special accelerometers which our volunteer dogs wore comfortably to gather acceleration data, and in assessing the accuracy of the instrumented treadmill.
She also developed a model to help with understanding how the gait of a dog is linked to the forces it exerts on the ground.

Kinematics is not just for our canine colleagues!

We recently welcomed a group of Engineers to use our gait analysis facilities as part of their work on digital technologies and their use in teaching people new skills or helping them with their work. The aim was to compare the effectiveness of video training to motion-capture training shown in a virtual reality environment, and the kinematics equipment allowed this.

Thomas Bohné and his team are interested in exploring new cyber-human technologies and their potential to augment human capabilities. The research team is part of a strategic research agenda at the Department of Engineering's Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) on the future of skills and human work in manufacturing, which is led by Prof Tim Minshall. Over the past 12 months the team has carried out several experiments with technologies such as AR/VR, haptic gloves and Mocap. In a recent research project, the team collaborated with Prof Matthew Allen and his team from the Department of Veterinary Medicine, and Dr Thomas Stone from the Cambridge Clinical Movement Centre. Together they digitised human work movements of an industrial assembly task and used these data to build a virtual reality training simulation. This simulation was then used as part of a pilot experiment to investigate performance differences between groups receiving different trainings.

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Taking Care of Heroes

Many of our patients for shockwave therapy are on reduced/restricted exercise during their treatment, but we understand it can be very hard for both dogs and owners, particularly if they are used to a lot of exercise.
Jaffa came to us for a course of shockwave to treat arthritis in her elbow, and is a very important member of a local search and rescue team.
She is still undergoing treatment, and on "light duties", but the rest of her team are missing her, and hopefully with ongoing medical management at the QVSH she will be back on duty in no time!

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Welcome to Fran

Fran is working with us as part of her undergraduate Engineering Studies into Mechanical and Bioengineering. The aim of the project is to establish whether accelerometers can be used to measure the forces a dog exerts on the ground during motion. This would be to allow data gathering in a more realistic environment, where the speed and directions of movement are not fixed by the type of test. Combining the ground forces with joint angle data will allow rough estimations of the magnitudes of forces in the leg joints, which could be used to help test the suitability and efficacy of different types of total knee replacement in dogs.

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Feature in Graduate News

We are delighted that our work in collaboration with the Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital has been featured in the most recent Graduate Newsletter, sent to all Veterinary Graduates from the University of Cambridge. Produced by Camvet, the charity who work tirelessly raising funds for the QVSH, which have helped to provide specialist teaching equipment and state-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical equipment.

It is lovely to see Rocco, a patient that we worked with by providing 3D modelling and a 3D printed surgical guide for his specialist surgery.

And Murphy who came to the QVSH for investigation into lameness and we were able to provide shockwave therapy as part of his ongoing treatment.

Investigating Stem Cells

Sara has been busy on her Phd studies and as part of her work has been investigating innovative tissue engineering approaches for bone regeneration. These images of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) have all been produced here in the lab with different imaging and processing techniques.

Placement from the Nuffield Foundation

We have been delighted to welcome William Tan from Hills Road Sixth Form College, who won a 4 week research placement here, organised with the Nuffield Foundation.

The scheme allows students to work under supervision as a professional scientist, and provides opportunities to learn new skills.

With supervision from Charlotte Palmer, William has been working hard investigating 3 separate canine osteosarcoma cell lines, comparing their growth rates and how they differ  in different simulated environments.

Osteosarcoma affects a large number of our canine patients, and our aim is to better understand the disease as it grows and metastasises. Ultimately we hope to relate this to the prognosis for both canine and human patients, and how they might be affected.

Thank you for all your hard work William and good luck for the future!

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Research collaboration bears rewards

Our collaboration with Kirsten Haeusler and the team at Tierphysiotherapie Team Haeusler has resulted in the Research Award of Excellence at the IARVPT World Rehab Summit 2018 in Knoxville, Tennessee! Kirsten presented an investigation into the reproducibility of an instrumented pressure-sensitive treadmill using the Zebris Canidgait with clinical cases from their caseload in Stuttgart.

This was the culmination of a lot of team work both in Stuttgart and here at the Department of Veterinary Medicine. Congratulations Kirsten for a brilliant poster and thanks to everyone for all the hard work!

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Prizewinning Poster for Charlotte

Congratulations to Charlotte Palmer who won Best Poster at the recent research afternoon event in the Department of Veterinary Medicine! Charlotte presented her work; FACS-based Isolation of Primary and Metastatic Osteosarcoma Cells which forms part of her Phd. It was a great event for sharing the hard work going on here, with colleagues from a wide field of research. Well done Charlotte!

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Farewell to Luke

We are very sorry to say goodbye to Luke who has been a great asset during his time here! He has been running the Robot, and in fact he not only achieved a distinction for his final project "Robotic Testing of Canine Knee Replacement" but also a First for his Degree!

Well done Luke!

Good luck for all your future endeavours and thank you for all your hard work.

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Canine Total Knee Replacement

Last week we travelled to Ohio State University to work with Biomedtrix on the Total Knee Replacement Course. It was great to see such enthusiasm for the procedure!

Matthew Allen took the participants through each step of the surgery, including pre-operative planning, templating and the key surgical components. A great course, everyone worked really well together and thanks to everyone at Biomedtrix and the staff at OSU for looking after us so well!

3D scanning well underway

Lisa has been busy so far scanning lots of dogs to investigate conformation of hind and forelimbs. All the dogs have been under anaesthetic for another procedure, and we can simply support their limb in position for a quick scan with the 3D scanner. Lisa then puts in all the hard work to generate a model.

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CPD at the Department of Veterinary Medicine

A huge thank you to everyone that came to the CPD event this week!

We really enjoyed talking osteoarthritis and shockwave therapy with lots of local vets, and it was great to share ideas about further treatment for all our arthritic dogs out there. Thanks to Nupsala for their support, and to all our speakers for some very informative talks. Matthew Allen was joined by Karen Cook from Nupsala, and Richard Whitelock from the Queen's Veterinary School Hospital.

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