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New Horizons in Smart Orthopaedic Implants: Advances and Applications

Edited by:

Peter Vee Sin Lee, PhD, University of Melbourne, Australia
Sarah Woodford, PhD, University of Melbourne, Australia

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 12 March 2025

Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research is calling for submissions to our Collection on smart orthopaedic implants.

Image credits: © santypan / Getty Images / iStock © YouraPechkin / Generated with AI /

New Content ItemThis Collection supports and amplifies research related to SDG 3: Good Health & Well-Being.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Peter Vee Sin Lee, PhD, University of Melbourne, Australia

Professor Peter Lee is the Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Medical Implant Technologies at the University of Melbourne. He leads a large industry-university-hospital partnership in Australia, focusing on orthopaedic and maxillofacial implants. The Centre trains interdisciplinary engineers in biomechanics, materials, and medical device manufacturing, which is a collaborative initiative with the industry to grow a talent pool of industry-ready biomedical engineers for innovation in personalised medical devices. He joined the University of Melbourne in 2008. Since then, he has held several leadership positions, including head and deputy head of departments. He leads the Cell and Tissue Biomechanics Laboratory and the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment (CAREN) Laboratory, where his research aims to understand better the behaviour of biological cells, tissues, and the musculoskeletal system under mechanical forces. He has authored over 150 publications in journals, conference proceedings and books. He is currently the Deputy Editor of the Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research.

Sarah Woodford, PhD, University of Melbourne, Australia

Dr Sarah Woodford is a research fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Melbourne. She is the Australian representative to the Asia Pacific Association for Biomechanics working group for Women in Biomechanics. Dr Woodford completed her PhD studying the biomechanical impact of total temporomandibular joint replacement and has presented her research widely to national and international audiences, winning several awards for her work. Her research now focuses on developing smart fracture plate technology to improve postsurgical care for fracture patients.

About the Collection

Orthopaedic implants have evolved over the years, from traditional passive devices to dynamic systems capable of real-time monitoring and data analysis. Early smart orthopaedic implants served as investigative tools, providing pioneering measurements of in-vivo joint loads. This information has been instrumental in enhancing orthopaedic treatments and implant designs for improved long-term outcomes. The present focus has shifted to smart orthopaedic implants which detect failure, offer real-time healing progression updates, and monitor patient activity and biomechanics. Future work may involve correlating smart implant data to clinical findings and integrating sensors with miniature actuators to enable implants to adapt to physiological changes. 
Smart orthopaedic implants offer potential benefit for patients, physicians, and the scientific community, however there are significant challenges to their widespread integration into the healthcare system. Firstly, current sensors are bulky, with limited long-term accuracy and rely on inductive coupling for power, which is unsuitable for continuous monitoring. Future developments may involve miniature MEMS sensors and energy harvesting techniques for continuous monitoring, reporting and real-time response. Secondly, host implant modifications to accommodate sensors and electronics are technically challenging, expensive and may alter implant properties, potentially compromising performance. Finally, the regulatory framework for smart orthopaedic implants is in its infancy. There is a need to reevaluate how smart orthopaedic implants and personalised data will contribute to decision-making and electronic health records. Furthermore, the implications of using real-world data measured from smart implants as evidence to support regulatory decision making needs to be considered.
This collection in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research and Surgery aims to address the highlighted challenges in smart orthopaedic implants. Researchers, clinicians, engineers, and industry professionals are encouraged to contribute scientific papers on topics including but not limited to:

•    Optimal implant performance and longevity of smart orthopaedic implants
•    Wireless communication technologies for remote monitoring, data transmission, and patient-doctor interaction
•    Biocompatibility, safety and regulatory considerations for the design and implementation of smart orthopaedic implants
•    Clinical outcomes and case studies demonstrating the efficacy of smart orthopaedic implants in patient care
•    Integration of sensors and actuators for real-time monitoring of implant performance, biomechanics and patient activity
•    Ethical and social implications of smart orthopaedic implants, including privacy concerns and patient acceptance.

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of Research Articles, Data Notes, Case Reports, Study Protocols, and Database Articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. 

Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. Please, select the appropriate Collection title “New Horizons in Smart Orthopaedic Implants: Advances and Applications" under the “Details” tab during the submission stage.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer-review process. The peer-review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.