The design, manufacture and testing of a joint simulator to prove the concept of a novel implant for finger joints
Group Members
Deborah Carey, Richard Emblem, Hazel Mitchell, Tinashe Munyebvu, Maria Stagno Navarra
Professor Martin Browne, Dr Andrew Hamilton
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease which impacts the lives of millions of people each year. Extensive research has been carried out to develop solutions for most large joints, but effective solutions for small joints are lacking.

The main aim of this GDP was to design and manufacture a small joint simulator for proof of concept of a novel implant. This involved the use of Public and Patient Involvement to better understand the problem from those living with OA. Mechanical testing and finite element analysis of components ensured the simulator’s durability and assessed simulator design. An implant prototype was needed to verify the simulator’s capabilities and prove the novel concept. The development and manufacture of electronics allowed for intuitive control of the simulator.

These aspects combined to produce the first DIP simulator of its kind. It is modular – not only allowing for the quick and easy replacement of parts but also allowing different samples to be used. More suitable analogues, real bones and different geometries are all compatible with the simulator's design. The system is user-friendly with easy-to-use electronics. It is also compatible with existing testing machines further reducing system complexity. This joint simulator will be used by researchers to further develop this novel implant concept.
Exploded view of render
1 Horizontal alignment frame
2 Analagous finger bones
3 Upper Phalangeal holder
4 Lower phalangeal holder
5 X-Y adjustment table
6 Servo motor
7 User interface