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Following the outputs from the initial Network Focus Meeting (15th-16th May 2017), Theme Leaders submitted proposals for activities and projects. After focused revisions, and the addition of timelines and costings, a research forum meeting was held in February 2018 to present the final proposals. A decision on funded activities was made for 2018/19.

These activities and research projects will be advertised on this website (and communicated via the partner mailing list), according to the timeline proposed by each Theme Leader. Examples include: subject specific focus meetings, sandpits, development of consensus statements, hackathons, scoping studies, engagement events and pump priming projects.

Opportunities will be made available to all Network Partners. Non-partners can also register their interest in being involved. Please email Cathy Holt for further information.


ECR opportunities:

Theme lead: Jim Richards

For further information on opportunities visit the page below:

ECR Opportunities Page


Event: Novel and experimental Technology Theme Focus Meeting

A Focus Meeting was held at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry as part of the OATech+ Network programme of events (30th April – 1st May 2018) to explore OA stratification from a multi-disciplinary approach.  A Delphi study was incorporated into the meeting, and a further meeting is being organised to prepare and present the findings as a consensus paper.

EvenT: Novel and experimental Technology Theme Sandpit

A two-day sandpit was held on the 19th-20th November 2018 in Oswestry. Two awards were made (up to 15K), subject to the submission of full project proposals and costings. The deadline for the full proposal submission was the 31st January 2019.

  • An award has been made to the MRI Fans group (David Williams et al). The group will undertake a project entitled Development of a quantitative MRI phantom for knee tissue commencing 1/7/19.
  • An award was also made to the We don’t care how much it hurts (but we do care about nociception) group (Debbie Mason and David Hamilton). This project will commence in August 2019 and explore the use of sensors as objective measures of nocioception.
event: OA stratification focus meeting

A one-day focus meeting was held at St George’s University, London to discuss OA stratification, and the work undertaken in the “Developing Tools for Patient Stratification in Osteoarthritis” project.

Event: Alan Turing Institute: Funding call for data sets and application challenges

A half-day meeting was held to discuss sharing of biomechanical data sets across institutions. 12pm,14th January 2019, Charing Cross Hospital.

The OATech+ Network is planning to submit an expression of interest to the Alan Turing Institute ( to participate in one of their new Data Study Events planned for this year. A Data Study Event is similar to a ‘hackathon’ in that organisations are invited to provide large datasets and a ‘challenge’ to the ATI. Data Scientists (approx. 20) will then spend 5-days working on the challenge to develop a data driven solution.


Current Projects:
  • Mark Elliott – OA Datasets Scoping Project
  • Nidhi Sofat – Developing tools for Patient Stratification in Osteoarthritis (OA)
  • Richard Jones – The role of technology and lifestyle interventions in osteoarthritis
  • Debbie Mason and Alison McGregor – Systematic review to define the higher level evidence in osteoarthritis research that can be used to develop an impact toolkit
  • Cathy Holt / David Williams –  Development of standard protocols for In-vivo imaging



Other opportunities:


November 2018. Dr Ben Sherlock secured funding to visit Prof. Gordon Wallace, University of Wollongong, Australia.

Ben undertook his visit in February 2019.

Click on the link to read Ben’s report

Biomechanics and Mechanobiology Pump-priming Projects

After receiving 12 applications, and going through a peer-review process, we are pleased to announce that 8 projects have been awarded funding.

Project No. 4: Micromechanics in Cartilage Matrix: a new Perspective on Functionality. Junning Chen

Project No. 9: Hedgehog signalling in ligamentocytes: the role of mechanical loading. Mandy Peffers

Project No. 5: Supine versus upright MRI: comparison of tissue in normal and OA knees. Philip Conaghan

Project No. 7: Mechanical stimulation re-sets the biological clock within cartilage to align to diurnal

patterns in activity. David Lee

Project No. 12: Effect of obesity on the mechanical properties of end stage osteoarthritic bone at multiple length scales. Robert Wallace

Project No. 3: Determining 3D kinematics of the talus during normal walking using video fluoroscopy: A pilot study. Claire Brockett

Project No. 10: Using 3D Trabecular Architecture as a Biomarker to Identify and Monitor Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Andrew Pitsillides

Project No. 11. Development of a synovium-chondrocyte organ-on-a-chip model with integrated biomechanical stimulation. Hazel Screen



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