My work is all about making working “copies” of muscles (and some other tissues such as bones) and using them in the laboratory to test the effects of different types of exercise. Because we don’t use human beings, we can do extreme testing that can give us a really clear idea of how our muscles respond – any this is for all people.
Osteoporosis is a common condition that affects 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men. Osteoporosis is where the bones get ‘thinner’ and weaker and this means that the bones are more likely to break. We want to stop people breaking their bones.
I am trying to find out why heavier people have stronger bones than lighter people. If I can find out what it is about heavier people that makes their bones stronger, we might be able to use this to make new treatments for people with osteoporosis. We might also be able to use it to help people at risk of osteoporosis to strengthen their bones before they get worse.
There were 82,000 Knee Replacement operations carried out in England and Wales alone in 2010. My work is looking at improving the design of the knee implant that is used in operations such as these, and across the rest of the world. The people that have these replacements are everyday people that have varios problems with their knees – for example they may be effected by osteoporosis like Amy has discussed. The operation is mainly carried out on older people, but younger people can need it to.