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Exploration, Development, And Implementation Of The Clemson University Retrieval Of Explants Program In Orthopaedics (Cu Repo)

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Experiential Learning in BME

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

15.561.1 - 15.561.13



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Paper Authors

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Michele Wabler Clemson University

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Estefania Alvarez Clemson University

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John DesJardins Clemson University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Exploration, Development, and Implementation of the Clemson University Retrieval of Explants Program in Orthopaedics (CU-REPO)


Total joint replacement has become one of the most successful surgical procedures of the past forty years in the treatment of arthritis, limb deformities, and chronic joint pain, relieving discomfort and joint stiffness for millions of people. It is estimated that the number of primary total hip arthroplasties (THAs) will increase 175% by the year 2030, and primary total knee arthroplasties (TKAs) will see a 675% increase in the same time frame1. While most total joint replacements are permanent, complications during a prosthetic’s lifetime can arise that lead to revision, or in severe cases, complete removal of the implant. Explantation and characterization of such devices can lend valuable information about implant in vivo functional performance, long-term structural and material properties, and implant failure modes. The field of implant retrieval analysis can also be seen as a prime educational platform in which to engage and educate the undergraduate student in topics of medical devices, biomaterials, and clinical anatomy. This paper details the development, application, and assessment of a mentored undergraduate teaching and research program known as Creative Inquiry at Clemson University that is focused on the development of a statewide implant retrieval program for educational and research purposes.


The mission of the Department of Bioengineering at Clemson University is to provide an outstanding education for engineers in bioengineering and developing future leaders. With this mission in mind, three goals were identified: 1) to provide students with the education needed for a rewarding career, 2) to provide an intellectually rigorous undergraduate education that emphasizes fundamental engineering and life sciences and 3) to train a workforce to sustain a growing bioengineering industry in the United States and participate in the economic development of the State of South Carolina. To assist in accomplishing these goals, the Department of Bioengineering participates in a university-wide program known as Creative Inquiry3. This program, unique to Clemson University, was developed to allow small teams of students to study problems stemming from curiosity, a professor’s challenge, or simply the needs of the world around them. With more than 250 projects currently active, programs are available to every undergraduate student at all levels, and new projects are welcomed and encouraged. A faculty advisor, who leads the group and encourages student success, monitors the Creative Inquiry undergraduate teams. This interactive environment engages students, faculty, and community in discovery, enriching the lives of each constituency, and provoking higher-order thinking, reflection on learning, and connection experiences to traditional engineering coursework as well as the successful publication of abstracts, posters, and papers based on Creative Inquiry research2-6.

Wabler, M., & Alvarez, E., & DesJardins, J. (2010, June), Exploration, Development, And Implementation Of The Clemson University Retrieval Of Explants Program In Orthopaedics (Cu Repo) Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16671

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