Lorin Maletsky, Ph.D.
- -Associate Department Chair, Mechanical Engineering
- -Professor, Mechanical Engineering
-Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering
-Biomechanics & Neural Engineering
-Biomedical Product Design & Development
-Applications of Biomechanics and Machine Design
-Biomechanics Testing Machines and Experimental Designs
-Kinematic Joint Studies
-Wear of Artificial Components
-Testing and Evaluation of Prosthetic Devices
Dr. Maletsky began teaching at the University of Kansas in 2000. His courses are in the design and mechanics tracks of the curriculum, and he also offers graduate courses in dynamics and manufacturing. He has received a number of teaching awards including the Kemper Fellowship for Teaching Excellence and the Sharp Teaching Fellowship.
Dr. Maletsky’s research area is machine design and biomechanics, specifically the experimental testing of cadaveric joints using custom-designed physiological loading equipment. He has had funding from the orthopedic industry, the National Science Foundation, and the Center for Disease Control. Graduates from his laboratory hold positions in a number of the world’s largest orthopedic companies, as well as in academia and in other industries. He is a member of the Bioengineering Division of ASME and currently chairs the Design, Dynamics, and Rehabilitation Technical Committee. Dr. Maletsky is also a member of the Orthopedic Research Society and the American Society for Engineering Education.
Research is the cornerstone of a strong and competitive engineering program. Timely, applicable, and focused research at the university level will interest industry and sponsoring agencies which will help attract better students. I am committed to developing a strong research program in biomechanics while complementing and, hopefully, collaborating with existing research labs at the university.
My research in the Purdue University Biomechanics Laboratory involved the operation of a variety of different testing machines and experimental apparatuses related to biomechanics. My primary work involved the design, development, and experimental validation of a knee simulator. The five-axis electrohydraulic simulator provides dynamic loading on the knee to simulate normal ambulatory activities such as walking. My responsibilities included all design, assembly, hydraulics, and electronics for the machine. I have conducted a variety of testing at Purdue including extended 100,000 cycle wear tests and kinematic evaluations of prosthetic devices in cadaveric specimens for normal activities.
Currently, the orthopedic market is healthy and will continue to be so for some time as the baby boomers age. New prosthetic designs are continually being developed and the need exists to evaluate these designs and to develop new design tools for the orthopedic industry to use. While my work to date deals mainly with prosthetic knees, my experiences can be easily transferred to other device testing such as prosthetic hips, ankles, and other joints as well as spine devices. Possible directions I might pursue are the design and operation of multi-axial controlled motion systems used to load and move biological systems or other mechanical devices. Kinematic investigation of joints continues to be an important factor in the design of high load joint prosthetics where small motions have been linked to increased polyethylene wear as well as low load joints which are susceptible to repetitive stress injuries. A better understanding of the wear mechanisms at artificial joint articulations could be developed with experimental tests coupled with finite element modeling and tribological effects. In addition to research in biomechanics, I am also interested in pursuing other advanced machine design projects similar in nature. I would like to develop biomechanics projects with a strong emphasis on mechanical engineering. My work also complements a clinical program. Collaboration with orthopedic surgeons, biomechanics companies, and other researchers in related fields would likely yield valuable results. My past work and close affiliation with the orthopedic industry will hopefully continue with future projects and funding. In addition to sources of funding from industry, foundation and government organizations will also be solicited.
An important function of research at a university is the development of future engineers with the skills and confidence to pursue independent ideas and provide novel and successful solutions to the engineering problems of the future. My experiences in the classroom, and with guiding senior research projects, has taught me that motivating and intellectually challenging students is an important and necessary part to helping them succeed. The field of biomechanics is broad enough and contains many interesting and challenging projects to support advanced studies in a variety of areas and at different levels.