How the microbiome could help increase orthopedic implant survivorship

Like an organ transplant, an orthopedic implant placed in the body can trigger an adverse immune response that can lead to serious medical complications and invasive revision surgery. Dr. Meghan Moran at Rush Medical College researches how modifying the gut microbiome through dietary alterations can potentially mitigate this risk and support joint replacement health. View Halo Profile >>

Tell us about your research…

I am interested in the molecular interactions between the gut, gut microbiome and bone as a mechanistic pathway to delaying or mitigating orthopedic implant failure due to peri-implant particle-induced osteolysis. This research may lead to the reduction in the need for future invasive revision surgery, which is currently the treatment for failed implants.

This research may lead to the reduction in the need for future invasive revision surgery, which is currently the treatment for failed implants.

Can you explain that to a non-scientist?

I study the relationship between the gut and bone as a potential avenue for delaying orthopedic implant failure and reducing the need for further joint surgery. To do this, I study the bone surrounding an implant, which anchors the hip or knee implant in place and the bacteria found inside the gut.

I study the relationship between the gut and bone as a potential avenue for delaying orthopedic implant failure and reducing the need for further joint surgery.

How could it someday impact patient lives?

Joint revision surgeries are known to increase patient risk for developing other health conditions. It is my hope that by altering the gut microbiome through administration of dietary supplements or changes, we can delay implant failure and decrease the need for future joint revision surgery.