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National Rehabilitation Centre podcast series

An amputee wearing a prosthetic leg and working out in a gym

The Experts in Sport podcast has released a new, three-episode series dedicated to the development of the National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC), delivered by the NRC Clinical and Academic Partnership led by Loughborough University and the University of Nottingham. The partnership brings together a ‘hub and spoke’ network of more than 20 universities across the country, allowing educators and researchers to work with and learn from each other, in a coordinated approach to rehabilitation research.

The NRC is a new 70-bed NHS rehabilitation facility set to be built on the Stanford Hall Rehabilitation Estate near Loughborough.  It is part of the Government’s ‘New Hospital Programme’ and is currently going through the approvals process.  The NRC aims to transform outcomes for people who have suffered potentially life-changing injury, trauma, or illness by fully integrating research innovation, education and training with clinical practice.

The development of the NRC

The first episode serves as an introduction to the NRC. Professor Mark Lewis (Dean of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences), Pip Logan (Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange – University of Nottingham), and Miriam Duffy (NRC Programme Director) sit down with host Martin Foster to discuss the development of the National Rehabilitation Centre (NRC), detailing its clinical benefits, facilities, as well as its long-term impact in the world of rehabilitation.

Professor Mark Lewis is the Loughborough University’s Dean of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, as well as a professor of Musculoskeletal Biology, his research focusing on muscle cellular and molecular physiology. As Loughborough University’s academic lead for the NRC, his expertise lies in the design and development of in vitro systems that are as similar to the actual tissue as possible. The approaches he has used encompass cell and tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Professor Pip Logan is the University of Nottingham academic lead for the NRC. She is Professor of Rehabilitation Research, an Occupational Therapist and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Senior Investigator. Pip’s research is mainly concerned with rehabilitation within health services, with particular emphasis on the community. She is also Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange at the University’s School of Medicine.

Miriam Duffy is the Director of  the NRC programme. She is also Chief Allied Health Professional at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH). A physiotherapist by background, specialising in neurological rehabilitation, Miriam has spent her career championing the importance and positive impact of rehabilitation. Miriam has led the programme since 2016 and has national roles within the rehabilitation specialty. 

Exoskeletons and rehabilitation technology

In the second episode, Dr Michael Craven (Principal Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham) discusses his research into rehabilitation technology, diving into the use of exoskeletons in musculoskeletal rehabilitation, as well as sharing future development plans for the NRC.

Dr. Michael Craven is Principal Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham, specialising in technology research, design and evaluation in healthcare, currently focused on mental health and dementia and more generally with medical devices and digital healthcare. He also represents the Institute of Mental Health in the NRC’s University of Nottingham research stream. Michael has over 30 years of research experience spanning healthcare, electronic engineering, computer science, health economics and is involved with several aspects of teaching and learning.

Enhancing prosthesis using 3D printing

In the third and final episode of the series, Dr Anna Lion (Research Fellow of Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham) and Professor Richard Bibb (Professor of Medical Applications of Design) discuss the Rehabilitation Technologies Network, as well as the development of technology to enhance rehabilitation devices using 3D printing and how it fits within the NRC.

Richard Bibb is a Professor of Medical Applications of Design and Director of Research in the School of Design & Creative Arts at Loughborough University. His research explores the application of advanced product design and development ‎technologies in medicine, surgery, rehabilitation and assistive technology. In collaboration with academic colleagues, practicing clinicians, patients, carers, and manufacturers this research explores the application of digital design and manufacturing technologies such as 3D scanning, Computer-Aided Design, 3D Printing and Additive Manufacturing ‎in the design, prototyping and manufacture of custom-fitting medical devices such as orthoses, prostheses, assistive technology and rehabilitation products.

Anna Lion is a Postdoctoral Fellow of Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham, as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Research Group. Her current work involves the development of a multi-material hot-melt inkjet 3D printing platform, aiming towards complex and personalised dosage form.

Listeners of the podcast can subscribe and download the latest episode by visiting iTunesSpotify, and TuneIn. All subscribers will receive an alert once new episodes are published.

The Experts in Sport podcast is a regular series that brings together experts from across Loughborough University with external thought leaders to discuss the latest research and hot topics in sport and academia with new episodes launched regularly.