Research in Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine is undertaken in a range of areas. Laboratory (biological and biomechanical), clinical and translational projects are being established in collaboration with other faculty members and departments of the College and partner institutes. Strong emphasis is placed on inter-disciplinary work with established scientists, engineers, imaging specialists and allied health professionals. In addition to ongoing work within Trinity College Dublin, additional programmes are being developed with outside institutes and sporting organisations to ensure the best possible level of care for all patients and athletes.
There is a particular interest in the role of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine strategies within Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at Trinity College Dublin. Our research focuses on the investigation of biological augmentation of traditional surgical options for soft tissue injury as well as exploring novel treatment strategies for soft tissue, ligament, cartilage and meniscus injury. A National Cartilage Repair Centre is being established to facilitate sharing of the scientific expertise available at TCD, RCSI, AMBER (and other leading regenerative medicine centre’s in Ireland) with specialised clinical services. In addition to the traditional exploration of tissue engineered constructs using scaffolds, cells and other biological factors, there is considerable interest in the role of mechanobiology in the healing and repair process, with particular emphasis on how this relates to rehabilitation of tissues following surgical intervention.
The primary laboratory facility for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine research is the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering at Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute, while related clinical research is performed at Sports Surgery Clinic and partners at Cappagh National Orthopaedic Hospital and other partner sites. Large animal studies are carried out in conjunction with the UCD Department of Veterinary Medicine. Investigations involving Diagnostic Imaging include collaborating with the established departments at UCD and TCD. Translational research and clinical trial activities are undertaken with TCD Clinical Research Facility at St. James’ Hospital.
In addition to the above areas, there is also an interest in exploring factors that influence return to sport following injury. This work involves collaboration between both clinical and research staff across various departments and institutes at Trinity College Dublin, related hospitals, as well as with individual athletes and teams.