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 Collaborative Research Projects


The aim of the project is to develop a novel cost effective articulating implant solution for arthritis sufferers and young patients suffering from joint soft tissue damage. The procedure could reduce the extent of trauma that results from current state of the art joint arthroplasty solutions. The compliant Apricot implant would be inserted between the damaged bone/cartilage surfaces of articulating small joints. The novel implant would operate like a caterpillar track to restore function and joint kinematics. The implant design to be developed is based on a combination of experimental and computational modelling based on a library of patient CT scans. It would then be optimised according to the joint space geometry to prevent bone on bone contact (and subsequent cartilage/bone damage). The implant material would need to be resilient and functionalised, offering the future potential for drug integration (e.g pharmacologic, therapeutic, anti-infection, and analgesic). The research and development activities in our project would aim to deliver a joint replacement solution for the following potential target patient populations:


  • Young patients, with localised trauma caused by sporting injury. The device will support rehabilitation.

  • Patients who would currently be treated with standard metallic/ceramic/plastic joint replacement implants.

  • Patients in whom arthritis markers indicate a high probably that they will need a joint replacement. The device could permit early intervention to prevent disease progression and allow cartilage self-repair.

  • Older frail patients, with a high risk of complications from long extensive surgery and associated general anaesthetics, in which the device could permit a return to reduced pain mobility.

  • Patients with damaged bone/cartilage small joints where there is no current effective surgery


Patented concept – Aurora Medical


Our Projects


Collaborative Past and Current Projects




Aurora Medical Ltd (AML) has identified a new opportunity in the field of adhesives, which historically have been focused on developing high strength and temperature resistance in adhesives. The BondDebond project aims at developing a new type of adhesives that can be broken on demand, with the associated release process.

AML have a vast experience in transferring aerospace technology (mechanical engineering) into medical applications. The availability of the BondDeBond adhesives would greatly increase their competitiveness during instrument design contract bidding and allow them to diversify their business, with an opportunity to sell the debonding equipment for other applications. AML will collaborate with Permabond Engineering Adhesives Ltd (PBL), a UK based adhesive specialist. PBL will aim to increase their competitiveness and market shares in aerospace and packaging recycling. In aerospace applications, the BondDeBond on-demand adhesives would offer significant weight reduction and reduce maintenance costs. In plastic packaging recycling, they would represent a step change in recyclability, in particular layered packaging, where recycling is restricted by the adhesive between layers which cannot be removed. 


Lead partner – Aurora Medical




The BIOCOAT project is a technical feasibility study to allow the application of existing coating processes to a new area, from the single use disposable medical device field to the long term implantation field. BioInteractions Ltd and Aurora Medical Ltd are coming together to build the coating technology block required to develop a novel, minimally invasive implant and procedure.


This would provide a cost effective solution, in particular for the older frail patient group in which joint replacement operations have high complication rates, and as an alternative to NSAIDs for the treatment of arthritis pain. In the context of an ageing population and increasing obesity as well as the economic pressure facing health services worldwide, the innovative implant would allow NHS savings, and offer a novel, cost effective solution to Health Services worldwide. In the longer term the type of technology developed in this project will provide a strong competitive advantage to the UK and Europe


Lead partner – Aurora Medical

Virtual Patient Software



The Virtual Patient Software is an industrial research project that will allow Aurora Medical Ltd in collaboration with the University of Southampton to up-skill in order that they are ultimately in a position to offer a service to the orthopaedic community, whereby a statistical model of human joints will be utilised to predict implant outcomes.  The proof of concept model already established at the University of Southampton will be developed so that this can support a significant reduction in the number of prototypes required during the development and clinical trial phases of new implant product market introduction, whilst improving the safety of those devices by accounting for the inherent variability in patients (including physiology and loading) and surgical factors. We anticipate that the costs of development to clinical trials can be reduced by 75%, with reduced timescales by 10%. By being able to account for some of the biomechanical factors that affect revision outcome (cases such as aseptic loosening, implant fracture, malalignment and wear), in the longer term, the Virtual Patient Software will also have a significant impact on revision rates, and on the costs burden these represent on National Health Services

Lead partner – Aurora Medical




The D2EYE project will develop a low cost fully electronic orthopaedic positional guidance system that does not require pre operation x ray or CT scan data and therefore will be easy to use. The navigation system will allow the surgeon to position the cup accurately allowing for optimum range of movement and as a result will prevent premature failure of the implant normally associated with miss-alignment. This will be done using a series of electronic orientation unit (EOUs) built in to the surgical instruments which will give their position in free space. This actual location and orientation is determined by the surgeon, the equipment only stores the info so the actual implant can be put into an identical position to the trial utilising direct to eye technology, in real time, completely unobtrusively and without distraction.  The information from the EOU’s will be projected in front of the surgeon’s eye allowing them to identify the correct position for the cup to be implanted.

The project involves the integration of three key technology platforms: (i) wireless systems for data transfer and associated power management; (ii) direct to eye information presentation currently employed in aviation and in development for motoring and leisure industries; (iii) miniature orientation/position sensors used in robotic arms during manufacturing.

Lead partner – Mat Ortho




The project developed two medical devices to aid lower limb amputation rehabilitation: a bone capping implant and a corresponding prosthetic socket. These were designed to improve load transfer between the prosthetic leg and the skeleton, reducing pressure, pain and soft tissue wounds.  A full size range of prototype implants and surgical instruments have been designed and for bone prep and implantation and these were successfully implanted in a cadaver trial. Documentation to support future exploitation through regulatory approval, clinical trial, surgical use and commercialisation has been produced.

Lead partner – HUNT Developments




This project was a cross-channel collaboration between Aurora Medical in England and Quertech in France. The testing comprised over 70 individual test set ups with over 1350 data points being collecting and analysed.

Aurora Medical sought to develop advanced polymeric surfaces with reduced wear properties compared to the current state of the art in instruments and implants. To achieve this goal Aurora collaborated with Quertech to investigate the effect of their proprietary Hardion+™ ion implantation technology on a number of materials commonly used in orthopaedic instruments and implants. Treating the surface of polymers with the Hardion+™ processes has the potential to reduce the frictional forces found within simulated joint replacements. This reduction on friction has the potential advantage of reducing the generation of interfacial heat and wear particles that could lead to early failure of the bearing.


Lead partner – Aurora Medical

The APRICOT project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 863183.

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