Smith & Nephew, Imperial College to develop knee surgery techniques

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The new partnership with Imperial is Smith & Nephew's second with an academic institution in as many months.

Smith & Nephew has inked a three-year partnership with Imperial College London to develop better surgical techniques for soft tissue injuries of the knee, including injuries to the meniscus and the anterior cruciate ligament.

Specifically, the devicemaker is joining forces with the university’s department of mechanical engineering on biomechanical research, with an initial focus on extra-articular ligaments and the meniscus.

“Meniscus repair is one of the greatest challenges of sports medicine,” said Andy Weyman, M.D., Smith & Nephew chief medical officer, in a statement. “By combining the clinical expertise of Imperial College with our pioneering approach to new product development we expect to be able both to advance surgical techniques and accelerate the development of next generation products.”

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Smith & Nephew is fueling the partnership with a $1 million grant.

“The partnership with Smith & Nephew is priceless for our work," said Andy Williams, lead surgical researcher at Imperial College London and Fortius Clinic. "It allows a strategic attack on the unanswered biomechanical issues in knee surgery. Knowing funding is secure for three years allows a step by step 'due diligence' approach to investigating these issues rather than sporadic studies. This is the best way to translate from the lab to patient care."

This collaboration comes just after Smith & Nephew entered a five-year collaboration with the University of Hull on wound care. Announced in July, the partnership set up one of the largest wound care research clusters in the world, dedicated to developing new treatments for advanced wound care.