Development of Infection-Free Percutaneous Osseointegrated Prosthetics

Background

Osseointegrated (OI) percutaneous prostheses are directly anchored within the bone of the residual limb and utilize a percutaneous connection to the external artificial limb. The OI prosthetic limbs represent a promising alternative to conventional socket prostheses. Currently, there are three types of OI prostheses under clinical trial in the USA. Success of these trials will enable a wider use of this technology within the US health care system. Our research group consists of experienced clinician scientists, orthopaedic engineers and translational scientists. Our group is working to improve current OI prosthetic systems' longevity and functionalities. Our research activities include microbiome studies, histological analyses, animal model development, bio-ceramic, biomimetic coatings, implant designs and tissue phenotyping.

Student Role

After receiving the job-related training, the student is expected to work with the technical team. He/She is expected to adopt a professional approach to time keeping and research activities including keeping records and developing an appropriate research plan that will enable submission of a report at the end of the summer program.

They are also expected to learn techniques quickly, conduct experiments, read scientific articles and develop appropriate methodologies, develop SOPs, take training, perform animal surgeries and maintain regular contact with the supervisory team.

Outcomes

Students' learning outcomes will be measured in terms of the knowledge, skills, and abilities that a student will attain as a result of his/her involvement in our research.

At the end of the course, each student will be assessed for:

  • Critical thinking
  • Logical reasoning
  • Technical skills
  • Research skills
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Team working skills

Students will be trained on how to effectively do scientific literature search, scientific writing skills, perform technical experiments as a group and individually as well as translational science methodologies. This program will benefit students who want to pursue higher education in research. Exceptional student will be given an opportunity to continue to work within our laboratory. Also, student who will do an exceptional work will be rewarded with authorship in peer-reviewed journals.

Sujee Jeyapalina
Research Assistant Professor

Surgery
College of Medicine

As mentor, I will not simply lead by example, but instead, I will be involved in my student's development. I will do this by being mindful of the his/her future by fostering skill sets that are valuable not only to their present work but also to their future careers. A common misconception is that formal mentoring begins the day the student starts working under you, but it in fact, effective mentoring must instead begin during the initial interview process. I use this interview to ensure the pairing will be favorable to both parties, not solely in my research interests, but also, in working styles. This interview is where I will first discuss their interests, the type of work they would like to take part in, and their future goals. I will also address their background and attempt to identify their strengths and weaknesses.

This information will help determine what an appropriate research project for them might be. Though it is ideal that both parties share similar interests, that is not the sole factor that needs to be accounted for when selecting a mentee. We will also discuss what style of working is best for them and when they are most productive. During this initial meeting, I will also explain how this symbiotic relationship will be beneficial to both parties.

Specific mentoring activities will include biweekly journal club, weekly lab meeting, and one-to-one training on techniques.