UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science


Research Department of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science

The Research Department of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science is a global centre for science-driven breakthroughs in restoring pain-free functional mobility and high-quality independent living.

About us

We are an interdisciplinary translational research department located on the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust (RNOH) site in Stanmore. We welcome clinicians, scientists, engineers, innovators, and technologists to work together and apply research in real time to physical medicine and rehabilitation. UCL’s partnership with RNOH Research & Innovation supports translational clinical research.

Our work

Our work focuses on new approaches and platforms for rehabilitation and implant science. This includes rehabilitation engineering, robotics, neuromodulation, biomechanics, neuro-prosthetics, tissue and nerve engineering, and intelligent artificial joints.

We work with UCL departments and partners on the science of tissue engineering and stem cells, biomaterials, AI data models, behaviour change and psychology.

Our research themes draw from different disciplines. We use a synthesis of approaches across rehabilitation engineering and implant science for multiple neuro-MSK conditions and collaborate with UCL Engineering on engineering-led innovation.

Our academic unit is built around clinical work on spinal cord and peripheral nerve injuries, prosthetics and orthotics, and complex joint reconstruction.

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We have aligned our themes to RCUK priorities and are building strong research programmes in collaboration with key UCL centres, with the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and with other UCL hospitals and Biomedical Research Centres to ensure our research targets unmet clinical needs and stays relevant to both the NHS and industry.

Our impact

Together with Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH), we deliver research and innovations that influence global health and wealth.

We bring together pre/post rehabilitation, surgical innovations, data science and social integration in order to identify and act on the warning signs, empower self-management of a condition (e.g., osteosarcoma), and engage communities. 

Our MDT approach helps us to advance MSK treatment. We develop assistive technologies (e.g., exoskeletons, intelligent implant technologies) for joint movement, and advanced biosensing to acquire and monitor biomarkers of tissue / bone that are important in digital pathology.

We need better information on how individuals cope when they are discharged and return to their own homes and what factors affect their recovery and wellbeing.

Patients would benefit from a support system that can provide themselves and healthcare providers with early warning of possible deterioration outside the hospital environment.

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Our teaching

Colleagues from this department contribute to our specialist MSc programmes, which include the following.

Our centres

Aspire Create

Our staff

Visit centre

Associated research themes


Centre for Bioengineering and Surgical Technology

Our staff

Associated research themes


Materials Research (Chaozong Liu's Research Group)

Our staff

Associated research themes