Development of an experimental simulation for the natural shoulder

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering


The rotator cuff is the muscle and tendon complex supporting the shoulder joint, this can become torn and damaged, leading to difficulties in completing daily activities as well as pain. By 50 years old, 10% of the population will have symptomatic rotator cuff tears. The management of rotator cuff tears is challenging in terms of surgical repair and the development of new treatments have been limited by a lack of appropriate functional pre-clinical testing.

This project aims to develop an experimental simulation of the shoulder joint to assess surgical interventions for repair of the rotator cuff. The biomechanical complexity of the shoulder make this challenging, it has the largest range of motion in the body and is comprised of four articulating joints. Therefore approaches used previously in developing laboratory natural joint simulations will need to be significantly modified. The project includes the following objectives; (1) Develop a specification for an experimental natural shoulder simulator, (2) Use a multi-body computational approach to define constraints and degrees of freedom needed in the experimental simulation for such an "unstable / unconstrained" joint, (3) determination of a suitable surrogate model (for example animal tissue) to use in the simulator development and (4) development the experimental natural joint simulation and assess different surgical repair strategies.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/T517860/1 01/10/2020 30/09/2025
2441874 Studentship EP/T517860/1 01/10/2020 31/03/2024 Sophie Elizabeth Hutchinson