“We’re in the middle of a revolution in orthopaedics with the adoption of additive manufacturing"

We’re in the middle of a revolution in orthopaedics with the adoption of additive manufacturing (3D printing) methods to produce titanium hip, knee and spine implants. The clinical rationale is clear: enhanced bony fixation and the ability to fully customise an implant to a patient. With all new devices, independent analysis and understanding of how they perform in patients is essential. Our implant science research at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital is helping to achieve this.

Blood Titanium Research

Our ongoing research is working to establish the role of measuring titanium levels in blood samples from patients with titanium-based implants as a means of monitoring implant function. This research was recently awarded the prize of 'best scientific oral presentation' at the annual meeting of the British Scoliosis Society (BSS), held in Edinburgh, November 2022. 

Read more about our blood titanium research here.

Our Papers

We disseminate our research findings through peer-reviewed journal publications and presentations at academic conferences. The summary below is of our key papers in this research area. Where possible, we have published these open-access, meaning that there are free to access and read. Click on the paper title to visit the journal website. 

The Analysis of Defects in Custom 3D-Printed Acetabular Cups: A Comparative Study of Commercially Available Implants from 6 Manufacturers
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Morphometric analysis of patient-specific 3D-printed acetabular cups: a comparative study of commercially available implants from 6 manufacturers
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Osseointegration of retrieved 3D-printed, off-the-shelf acetabular implants


Characterization of dimensional, morphological and morphometric features of retrieved 3D-printed acetabular cups for hip arthroplasty


Dimensional analysis of 3D-printed acetabular cups for hip arthroplasty using X-ray microcomputed tomography


Evidence of structural cavities in 3D printed acetabular cups for total hip arthroplasty


Comparative analysis of current 3D printed acetabular titanium implants

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3D Printed Acetabular Cups for Total Hip Arthroplasty: A Review Article