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Faculty of Engineering

MEP sees EU investment in science and research in action

Thursday 3 October 2013

Life long Joint ProgrammeYorkshire Lib Dem MEP, Rebecca Taylor, has welcomed the European Parliament agreement on the EU funding programme for science and research. This comes as Rebecca visited The Lifelongjoints project in the School of Mechanical Engineering, which has benefited from EU research funds.

The Lifelongjoints programme, coordinated by Professors Richard Hall and Anne Neville in the University of Leeds’ School of Mechanical Engineering, is a prestigious €18.3 million budget project receiving €13.3 million contribution in EU funding via the Framework 7 programme to help in the development of more effective artificial joint replacements.

LifeLongJoints overcomes the problem of implant wear and corrosion by the novel approach of using silicon nitride-based coatings, in which the combined high wear resistance of the material and the solubility of any silicon nitride wear particles released reduce the overall potential for adverse tissue reactions.
Joint replacements represent a medical market exceeding £10 billion a year that is expected to rise with an increasingly ageing population. Rebecca got to see for herself how the process works and how the EU funding has helped both the research and the region.

Commenting after the visit, Rebecca said “It was great to be able to see for myself how EU funding is making a real difference on the ground. This is vital research bringing real benefits, both for the individuals who get better quality joint replacements, but also for the region, which gets vital investment in high skill jobs"

Rebecca met Professor Anne Neville and the team from the LifeLongJoints project at the University of Leeds. Professor Neville, Professor of Tribology & Surface Engineering said "The objective of the project is to develop new coatings for joint replacements that will dramatically improve their longevity and reliability. We are looking at all of the stages where these implants currently fail and identifying ways of alleviating the effects of wear debris that can cause biological reactions in patients. The LifeLongJoints project is aiming to improve the quality of life for patients by avoiding implant failures and the need for revision operations. We would not be able to put together such an ambitious project without the support of European funding"

Further information
Contact Chris Bunting, Senior Press Officer, University of Leeds; phone +44 113 343 2049 or email c.j.bunting@leeds.ac.uk