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Dr Catherine Pendegrass
Department of Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Science
The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital
Dr Catherine Pendegrass profile picture
  • Senior Lecturer
  • Department of Ortho and MSK Science
  • Div of Surgery & Interventional Sci
  • Faculty of Medical Sciences

Dr Pendegrass studied and received her PhD at University College London in the Centre for Biomedical Engineering, now part of the Department of Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Science. She was appointed as a Lecturer in 2011 and an Associate Professor in 2014.  

Research Groups
Research Summary

These research themes all of which fall within the field of Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Science and respond to great and rapidly rising, un-met clinical needs. They are: 

The development of Intraosseous Transcutaneous Amputation Prostheses (ITAP). 

Amputation is a rapidly rising clinical problem, and attachment mechanisms for prostheses remain remarkably inefficient. Predominately attachment mechanisms are socket-based designs; the use of which, the majority of amputees abandon due to pain, soft tissue/skin complications and infection. ITAP provide an alternative means of attaching artificial limbs by linking the external prosthesis directly to the skeleton via a skin-penetrating abutment. Our research in developing an infection-free skin-implant seal around ITAP, has led to extensive publications, recognition through conference presentation and guest lectures, and clinical trials involving patients with amputated limbs and digits, and maxillofacial disfigurement. This theme has evolved, to encompass the development of muscle, and nerve electrodes, which could carry electrical signals out of the body, through ITAP, to control prostheses with feedback to facilitate lifelike sensation with robotic arms. 

Tendon re-attachment to bone. The tendon-bone interface is an incredible piece of nature’s engineering, designed to transmit loads from muscles to bone enabling locomotion. However when disrupted, it significantly reduces patient quality of life and places a huge financial burden on health care systems. Regeneration of this interface is hindered by scaring, which produces a bio-mechanically weaker interface that is highly susceptible to re-rupture. Our research, investigating biological strategies to enhance tendon-bone healing for the Rotator Cuff in the shoulder aims to positively address these problems. To date has lead to the development of materials, which have been used successfully to treat patients at the RNOHT.

Tendon attachment to endoprostheses. Patients with bone cancer frequently have large segments of diseased bone removed and surgically replaced with metal endoprostheses, however attaching tendons/ligaments to these implants to direct muscle forces and enable movement is clinically challenging. Our research investigates biomechanical and biological attachment strategies to enhance tendon-implant interfaces.

Teaching Summary

Dr Pendegrass supervises PhD, MD and BSc research students in the Department of Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Science. She lectures on various Divisional Courses on Soft Tissue Interfacing, Mechanobiology, Cell-Matrix Interactions and a number of components of Research Methodology. 

01-SEP-2014 – 19-NOV-2019 Associate Professor Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Science University College London, United Kingdom
01-SEP-2011 – 31-AUG-2014 Lecturer Orthopaedics & Musculoskeletal Science University College London, United Kingdom
Academic Background
    Doctor of Philosophy University College London
1998   Bachelor of Science (Honours) University College London
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