3D printed bones help test surgical navigation

This month the 3D printer and Jose Franco have been working doubletime printing bones from CT scans!

Professors Matthew Allen and Ken Johnson have been working together on the next stage of this exciting project.
The printed bones are worked to reconstruct the canine knee joint, to continue the work started by Engineering student Rachel Lewis testing surgical navigation in orthopaedic surgery.

Celebrating Achievement in Research

This month Ruby Baxter took part in a celebration event for the Nuffield Research Placement Scheme.
Ruby presented her work comparing different canine osteosarcoma cell lines from different tumours, that she completed at the SDC under the supervision and guidance of Charlotte Palmer.
It was a wonderful evening, celebrating the students' hard work and achievements, and great to see such enthusiasm for science!

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ACVS 2017

We just got back from ACVS in Indianapolis last week; a great event with a packed schedule and plenty of interesting topics discussed.
Matthew Allen presented on Total Knee Replacement, Surgical Site Infections, and Prevention of Implant Associated Infections.
We talked shockwave with our collaborator Kirsten Haeusler from Tierphysiotherapie, visited the Gait Lab at Purdue University, and are full of excitement about future projects! Thanks to everyone at Purdue for our visit, and hope to be back next year.

Visit to Purdue University

Welcome Luke.

We would like to welcome Luke Johnson to the SDC, who is a fourth year student at the Engineering Department of the University of Cambridge. Luke has been here before, on an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme placement in the summer of 2016, and after specialising in Bioengineering in his third year he has returned to the Surgical Discovery Centre for his final year project, under the joint supervision of Professor Matthew Allen and Dr Michael Sutcliffe of the Engineering Department.

With a working title “Robotic Testing of Canine Knee Replacement" the project involves manipulation of cadaveric canine knees using our industrial 6-degree-of-freedom robot arm to investigate the effect of total knee replacement on the kinetics and kinematics of the knee.


Nuffield Research Placement for Budding Scientist

We have been delighted to welcome Ruby Baxter from Neale-Wade Academy, who won a 4 week research placement here, organised with the Nuffield Foundation This has provided an insight into working as a professional scientist, and opportunities to learn new skills.

With supervision from Charlotte Palmer, Ruby has been working hard investigating the characteristics of 4 different canine osteosarcoma cell lines from different tumours. She is comparing their ability to grow and migrate in order to understand how the cell lines behave differently, and how these differences may affect the prognosis for canine patients.

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

Shockwave Therapy - a new collaboration for research

In July we travelled to Stuttgart, Germany, and were really lucky to see how Focussed Shockwave Therapy is being used as part of the extensive facilities at TierPhysiotherapie in small animal rehabilitation and treatment.

The visit, with the support of Storz Medical, is just the start of ongoing collaborations and we are very excited to incorporate such therapies into our research setting.

It was a great opportunity to see the variety of cases having shockwave therapy, and to see first hand how this is being used alongside complementary therapies such as with the underwater treadmill. A huge thank you to everyone involved,especially Dr Kirsten Hausler and the team, and to the clients and patients at the clinic for allowing us to follow their treatment.

We are now really looking forward to getting our recently installed Shockwave unit up and running!

Engineering Collaborations

The Surgical Discovery Centre enjoys an ongoing collaboration with the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, with many opportunities to share resources and combine expertise in ongoing research.

Two of the Engineers on recent projects, Angus Bain and Tom Broughton have now finished their placements with us. A huge thank you for all their hard work, we wish them all the best for their futures!

Biomedtrix Workshop: Total Knee Replacement

As well as assisting the students here in Cambridge, a team from the SDC recently travelled to the University of Liverpool to take part in the Total Knee Replacement course run by Biomedtrix. Professor Matthew Allen and colleagues demonstrated the surgical techniques to a group of Veterinary surgeons from the UK and Europe. It was a great opportunity, bringing together experts from the two Universities, and America, to share their vast knowledge and experience of the procedure with attendees.

Research Afternoon at the Department of Veterinary Medicine

This week saw a wide range of researchers from all over the Department of Veterinary Medicine come together to share their recent work and present ideas for the future. It was a great opportunity to showcase the diversity of research that is going on, and to meet fellow researchers both within and across different specialities.

Charlotte Palmer presented her work on circulating tumour cells in osteosarcoma patients, and Amy Stelman presented a pilot study into the diagnosis of ectopic ureters in Golden retrievers using ultrasonography.

This was a fantastic afternoon and we are already looking forward to next year!

Exploring Gait Analysis with Veterinary Students

It was a pleasure to welcome a group of final year Cambridge Veterinary Students to the Surgical Discovery Centre as part of their Elective Study weeks. We looked at how gait analysis can be used with both clinical and research cases, including diagnosis and ongoing investigations into medical or surgical intervention. They then had the opportunity to apply their knowledge with Harry and Wiggy who are always very obliging patients!
Well done everyone for all your hard work and good luck for the future.

Seminar at the Veterinary Department, University of Cambridge

Professor Matthew Allen chaired a departmental seminar this week, with the invited speaker Dr Constanza Gomez Alvarez from the University of Surrey talking about her exciting work into gait analysis in dogs. We have ongoing collaborations between our facilities, and Dr Gomez Alvarez has been instrumental in this. It was a very informative talk, and opened up lively discussions about the future of gait analysis and it's continued integration into patient care.

Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month 2017

Veterinary Nurses here in the Surgical Discovery Centre, and within the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Cambridge, play a huge role in research, so we are joining in VN Awareness Month in May to celebrate this! #whatvnsdo

Science Festival 2017

Thank you to everyone that could make it to Science Festival 2017.  It was great to meet so many enthusiastic scientists of all ages!

Jose supervised students preparing for "surgery", there were  fractures to fix with Luisa and Charlotte, demonstrations of 3D printing and the robot with Matthew, and plenty more hands on activities for budding vets and researchers, with a great team of volunteers from staff and students.

Looking forward to next year!

Scientists Welcome

We were really pleased to host a practical session run by the SynBio Forum recently,  giving hands-on experience to scientists from a wide range of backgrounds.

Our laboratory provided the ideal environment for the workshop; Programmable biology for diagnostics: impacting global health and development, challenged delegates to design logic circuits using DNA, and programme cell extracts to produce colours or other reporters in response to a signal.



Robot takes over Surgical Discovery Centre!

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The Surgical Discovery Centre in Cambridge is awaiting delivery of a cutting edge robotic simulator for biomechanics studies. The system, consisting of a KUKA 60-3 robot (https://www.kuka.com) and a dedicated biomechanics software package (SimVitro) developed by the BioRobotics core at Cleveland Clinic in the United States, is due to be installed the week of March 6th, 2017.

Unlike traditional mechanical testing systems, which usually operate in one or perhaps two planes of motion (up and down, to apply tension and compression, or in rotation to apply torque), the new robot is capable of translational and rotational movements around all three axes simultaneously. From a practical perspective, this means that the software drives to the robot to simulate the complexity of movement in both animals and humans. An example of the system's capability to simulate human knee movement can be found on the Cleveland Clinic site (http://mds.clevelandclinic.org/Services/BioRobotics/simVITRO.aspx).


Once installed in the Surgical Discovery Centre, the new simulator will be put to work immediately! The first testing will involve evaluation of the effects of knee replacement on movement patterns in the canine knee. We then plan to use the robot in a new study to develop a better surgical solution for dogs with elbow disease. Watch this space for videos and updates on our progress :)

3D Printing meets Education.

In the Surgical Discovery Centre we've been really excited to use our 3D printing techniques to produce this model from a CT scan of a rabbit's skull.
This is the first stage of a final year Veterinary Medicine student's project we have been working on, alongside the Clinical Skills lab in
the Queen's Veterinary School Hospital.
We are really looking forward to seeing the finished project!

 The CT scan of the rabbit's skull

The CT scan of the rabbit's skull

 The finished 3D model

The finished 3D model