Dr Susannah Clarke

Current joint replacement systems use a standardised one-size-fits-all approach, despite the fact that bone shape and size can vary enormously.

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Susannah had the idea to create fully-customised parts for surgery. She is a co-founder of Imperial College London spin-out Embody Orthopaedic that now make unique instruments designed specifically for a one person’s surgical intervention. 

Embody are pioneering low-cost instrumentation for orthopaedic surgery with a new type of 3D printed technology to revolutionise joint replacements. This approach decreases risk by creating instrumentation such as knee replacements that are unique to each patient. The minimally invasive devices are printed in nylon, a low-cost, robust material that can be readily sterilised.

Susannah’s instruments are now used in both everyday surgery and more specialised cases, such as soldiers with lower limb gunshot wounds. Using 3D printing technology enables a very complex operation to be planned and undertaken in a much reduced timeframe, allowing an entirely personalised surgical approach at an affordable cost.

Embody is expanding on 3D printing customisable implants. Furthering plans to deliver a fully tailored joint replacement process, from surgical planning to recovery, the company is also launching a web-based surgical planning system. This allows surgeons to upload patient scans and trial different surgical scenarios pre-operatively. Within the next ten years, Susannah plans to apply the technology in other fields such as maxillofacial, cardiovascular and dental surgery.

Mentored by

“The Enterprise Hub has given me access to opportunities that have played a big role in my progress, particularly being able to take time out from my research to focus on the project, and receiving business training. The events organised by The Enterprise Hub have also enabled me to meet some very experienced people in the industry who gave me their views on my project from a completely different perspective, which was invaluable.”

Dr Susannah Clarke

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Suzannah Clarke in the lab

Spotlight: Susannah Clarke


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