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Our research aims to improve evidence for the effectiveness of surgery generally and to translate new surgical techniques and implants into the clinic.

We are based in the Botnar Research Centre, the University of Oxford Institute of Musculoskeletal Sciences and in the clinics and operating theatres of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, which is part of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.

We have published in high impact journals, including the BMJ, the Lancet, Nature Biotechnology and Science Translational Medicine.

Post-graduate students come from both clinical and scientific backgrounds. Any prospective students are welcome to contact Andy Carr directly.

Our work focusses on the development and evaluation of surgical implants and technologies:


We have pioneered the involvement of patients in assessing surgical outcomes and, with colleagues in Oxford, have developed a range of patient reported outcome measures (PROMs) for orthopaedic surgery. The Oxford Scores have been translated into 20 languages and are now used worldwide in clinical trials and National joint replacement registries.

  • The NIHR HTA funded UKUFF trial compared traditional open surgery with arthroscopic surgery and revealed high rates of repair failure within both surgical approaches. 
  • The NIHR funded PaRot trial demonstrated that there is no benefit from the co-application of platelet rich plasma (PRP) with surgery and potentially harmful effects of PRP on tendon cells
  • The Arthritis Research UK and NIHR funded CSAW trial published in the Lancet demonstrated that arthroscopic subacromial decompression for subacromial shoulder pain has no benefit over a placebo surgery control or observation only.


We have expertise in the development of in vitro models to understand how cells and materials interact in both healthy ageing and disease. In order to develop new strategies to improve healing after surgical repair we use human tissue to investigate molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in tendon disease. We have identified novel inflammatory and fibrotic mechanisms and are interested in how biodegradable elastomers fabricated into complex geometries can provide cues for cells and target these processes. We have developed electrospun biomaterials that aim to enhance endogenous tissue repair using biophysical cues. The materials are constructed of biodegradable polymeric nanofibres and are designed to mimic the hierarchical architecture of normal tissues. We also investigate the co-application of these scaffolds with growth factors and endogenous cells. This work was initiated and funded by the  NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (OxBRC) You may find the following article on BBC News interesting.

  • The  Wellcome Trust has funded the  Bioyarn Trial and we are currently scaling up manufacture in a clean room in preparation for phased clinical trials
  • The NIHR invention for innovation (i4i) programme has funded the BioPatch Trial. `We have completed preclinical evaluation and are modifying our production process before commencing clinical trials.

Our research in action


Find out more about how we're using biomaterials in sutures with our BioPatch.

Selected publications

Related research themes