Matthew Teeter, PhD, recognized for work in joint replacement

Matthew Teeter, PhD, assistant professor, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and researcher at Lawson Health Research Institute, is a winner of the 2015 John Charles Polanyi Prize. The $20,000 award recognizes the excellence of Teeter’s research in joint replacement. It was presented at a ceremony in Toronto by the Honourable Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, on Tuesday, November 17.

Teeter’s research focuses on the potential of imaging and sensors for better evaluating the repair of diseased joints. Many patients suffering from severe arthritis of the knee, shoulder or hip undergo joint replacement surgery. However, many implants wear out over time or leave the patient unsatisfied. This creates a high demand for revision surgeries.

While new implants have flooded the market in recent years, results have not improved. Teeter wondered if this may be due to natural anatomical differences between individuals. His research focuses on whether better outcomes can be achieved by selecting a personalized surgical approach for each patient, using implants that are already on the market.

To assist, Teeter is utilizing sensor technologies like those found in mobile phones. These sensors will be used to assess individual patients’ gait, perform internal measurements during surgery and also provide feedback on patients’ motion and physical therapy. These measurements will help in the selection of the most appropriate implant and determine the best surgical alignment for individual patients. Afterwards, similar measurements will be used to monitor a patient’s recovery.

Teeter is pairing sensor measurements with advanced imaging tools to examine the inside of individuals’ joints. The study utilizes state-of-the-art technology at Western University to more fully understand the relationship between implants and bone over long periods of time. This helps determine the appropriate targets for sensor technology measurements.

“I am honoured to be recognized with a 2015 Polanyi Prize,” said Teeter. “Using these tools, we are identifying measurable factors that are important to patient outcomes. These findings will provide greater evidence for the role of more patient-specific implant positioning and surgical techniques, further informing surgeons and implant designers.”

Teeter is one of five Ontario researchers awarded with the 2015 Polanyi Prize. The Polanyi Prizes were established by the provincial government to honour the achievements of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner, John Charles Polanyi.  

See a full list of winners here.