Orhun Muratoglu, Ph.D.

Professor of Orthopedic Surgery
Harvard Medical School
Alan Gerry Scholar
Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital
Director, Harris Orthopedics Laboratory
Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital
Vice Chair, Clinical Innovation
Orthopaedic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital
antioxidant stabilization of polymers; drug delivery; hydrogels; joint arthroplasty; materials development; materials testing; peroxides; polyvinyl alcohol; solid state chemistry; synovial fluid; ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene

Dr. Orhun K. Muratoglu is the Director of the Harris Orthopaedic Laboratory and Director of the Technology Implementation Research Center (TIRC) at Massachusetts General Hospital, Alan Gerry Scholar at MGH, and Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He received his B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Materials Science and completed his doctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the Program for Polymer Science and Technology. 

Dr. Muratoglu has published 147 peer-reviewed articles and holds 118 issued patents. He played a key role in the discovery of highly crosslinked UHMWPE, a more wear-resistant polymeric material for load-bearing applications in total joints. He also pioneered the use of the antioxidant vitamin E to further stabilize the highly crosslinked UHMWPE. Medical implants fabricated using these technologies have been in clinical use since 1998 with over 10 million implantations worldwide, in total hip, knee and shoulder patients. These technologies markedly reduced the revision rate by increasing the wear and oxidation resistances of the implants and virtually eliminated periprosthetic osteolysis, the number one cause of revision in total joints. The use of these implants in total hip and total knee patients resulted in $2B annual savings in US health care spending.

Highly crosslinked polyethylene also enabled the use of large femoral heads, in clinical use since 2000, substantially reducing the dislocation rate in total hip patients, another major mode of failure in these patients.

The anatomically contoured femoral head, among his inventions, has been cleared by FDA in 2019 and is now in clinical use. This invention is expected to reduce soft tissue impingement and reduce anterior hip pain that is associated with the use of large femoral heads in total hip patients.

Dr. Muratoglu continues his research on investigating molecular mechanisms of structure-property relationships in UHMWPE. He is exploring infection and pain management technologies for total joint patients and directing research in the design of more functional joint implants. He is also playing a central role in the creation of the Artificial Intelligence Center in Orthopaedics at MGH.

Harris Orthopaedics Lab Publications

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