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Orthopaedic Research Unit in the University of Turku and in the University Hospital of Turku has the background of extensive collaborative basic research on the molecular biology and biomechanics of bone healing. The research has been directed toward increasing the fundamental understanding of biological phenomena of bone healing and biomaterial incorporation.

Current basic research projects are focused on two critical issues in orthopaedics: non-metallic biodegradable and non-biodegradable antibiotic-releasing implants in skeletal reconstruction.

Other projects include clinical trials involving the use of rhBMP-2 growth factor in enhancement of long-bone fracture healing and the use of bioactive glass as bone defect filler. In research of reconstructive and trauma surgery, the Unit has focused on the use of RSA (radiostereometric analysis) in evaluation of hip replacement procedures and fracture fixation devices. The Unit has also developed PET imaging techniques for evaluation of bone infections and bone healing.

Human mesenchymal stem cell laboratory operated by Orthopaedic Research Unit develops and optimizes culture conditions for adult human MSCs that are isolated and enriched from human bone marrow or peripheral blood.

Orthopaedic Research unit is coordinating the National Graduate School of Musculoskeletal Disorders and Biomaterials (TBGS), which has over 100 students in all the major Finnish universities (Helsinki, Tampere, Turku, Jyväskylä, Kuopio and Oulu). In addition, many hospitals and research institutes are involved in research and training performed by TBGS.


Group Leader:

  • Hannu T Aro, MD, PhD, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology

Full time staff and researchers:

  • Jessica Alm, MSc, Cell biologist
  • Katriina Halava, Administrative assistant
  • Terhi Heino, PhD, Cell biologist and TBGS coordinator
  • Niko Moritz, PhD, Bioengineer
  • Satu Timlin, RN, Clinical coordinator

Postdoctoral researchers:

  • Tatu Mäkinen, MD PhD
  • Ville-Valteri Välimäki, MD PhD

PhD students:

  • Riku Alaranta, BM
  • Jessica Alm, MSc
  • Janek Franzen, MD
  • Pauli Keränen, DVM
  • Jyri Koort, MD
  • Petteri Lankinen, MD
  • Rami Madanat, MD
  • Niko Strandberg, MD
  • Desheng Zhao, MD


Publications 2005-2010: 31

The number of PhD degrees completed in 2005-2010: 9



University Hospitals of Helsinki, Tampere, Kuopio and Oulu

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki

University of Turku

  • Department of Anatomy and physiology
  • Department of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Institute of Dentistry, Department of Prosthetic Dentistry and Biomaterials Science

Åbo Akademi University

  • Process Chemistry Centre, Combustions and Materials Chemistry

Tampere University of Technology

  • Institute of Biomaterials
  • Institute of Materials Science

Industrial partners

  • Novartis
  • Wyeth
  • Amgen
  • Stryker
  • Smith & Nephew
  • Vivoxid
  • Bioretec

Contact Information:

Hannu T Aro, MD, PhD
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology

Orthopaedic Research Unit
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology

University of Turku and
University Hospital of Turku

Tel +358-2-333 7586
Fax +358-2-333 7690

Katriina Halava

Administrative assistant

Orthopaedic Research Unit
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology

University of Turku and
University Hospital of Turku

Tel +358-2-333 7691
Fax +358-2-333 7690