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Oklahoma State University

Collaborating to improve the durability of joint replacement implants

Monday, August 26, 2019

dr. erik clary

The Oklahoma IDeA Network for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) program recently announced its 2019 National Institutes of Health funding awards that include support for a collaborative study involving Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences’ clinician Dr. Erik M. Clary and researchers from OU Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) and the University of Central Oklahoma (UCO).

Clary is a board-certified veterinary surgeon whose work in translational surgical research began more than two decades ago at Duke University Medical Center. In this most recent effort, he serves as co-principal investigator alongside UCO bioengineer Morshed Khandaker, Ph.D., and OUHSC’s associate dean of research Mary Beth Humphrey, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P., as they investigate a novel method for enhancing durability of artificial joint implants.

According to Clary, “More than one million joint replacement procedures are performed in people each year in the United States. Experts predict the number to increase six-fold by the year 2030. Unlike the situation in animals receiving artificial joints, in people, patient longevity often exceeds the durability of the artificial implant, and not uncommonly, the breakdown involves loosening of the implant within the recipient bone. This has led to the development of numerous strategies for facilitating bony ingrowth into the implant or “osseointegration.” In that stream of development, Dr. Khandaker is on the cutting edge with a novel approach that employs nanofiber coating technology.”

In prior translational research efforts chiefly aimed at advancing human health, Clary said he has always strived to keep an eye on the potential for translation to veterinary patients.

“Many novel surgical technologies have the potential for this dual application, and the osseointegration technologies are no exception,” continued Clary. “Loosening of artificial joint devices may not be the issue in dogs that it is in people, but there are implant systems we use for fracture repair, joint stabilization and dental reconstruction—to name a few applications—that might be improved upon with a reliable osseointegrative capacity. It is an exciting field to be working in and one that we hope will bring increasing benefit to both people and animals.”

A NIH-funded initiative, the Oklahoma INBRE grant program was established in 2001 to promote the development of biomedical research resources within the state via collaborative exchange between research intensive and primarily undergraduate institutions. On average, the program awards eight grants each year, including two collaborative grants. Since inception, the program has awarded almost $80 million in funding. For more information on OK-INBRE, visit the OK-INBRE website.

MEDIA CONTACT: Derinda Blakeney, APR | OSU Center for Veterinary Health Sciences | 405-744-6740 | derinda@okstate.edu

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