• Hull Lab

    Hull Lab


Cadaveric knee load application system

Our research develops improved surgical procedures for treating knee injury and disease with a current focus on total joint replacement primarily of the knee (TKR). More than 700,000 patients undergo TKR in the US alone each year. Unfortunately 20 – 25% of these patients have an unsatisfactory outcome due to persistent pain, instability, stiffness, and/or implant failure. These poor clinical results can be traced primarily to the conventional method for aligning the implants on the bones.

To improve clinical results, our research group pioneered a new method for aligning implants termed kinematic alignment and developed two novel surgical techniques for achieving the desired alignment. The surgical goal is to restore the alignments of the bones to the prearthritic (i.e. healthy) knee without ligament release to achieve the ultimate functional goal of restoring function to the prearthritic knee. After performing the surgery on more than 5000 patients, clinical results as indicated by subjective patient-reported outcome scores indeed are better than those of patients who have been treated with conventional alignment methods and surgical techniques. To demonstrate the efficacy of kinematic alignment, one broad goal of our research is to conduct research projects which examine all dependent variables that provide objective measures of knee joint function for both kinematic alignment and conventional alignment methods. A second broad goal is to advance the surgical tools and/or methods to more consistently achieve the surgical alignment goals. A third broad goal is to optimize implant designs so that kinematic alignment restores knee function as closely as possible to that of the prearthritic knee.


Custom tibial force sensor



Many challenging and purposeful research projects are available which include experimental projects on cadaveric knees, experimental projects on patients both during surgery and after surgery, and computer-based projects simulating TKR on 3D bone models. Some projects involve advanced applications of biomedical imaging such as radiostereometry and fluoroscopy followed by 3D model-to-2D image registration. For the aspiring graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or orthopaedic resident, this is an unique and timely opportunity to conduct research with immediate clinical impact which benefits the millions of patients who will undergo TKR in the coming years.

Alexander Nedopil M.D.

Former UC Davis Orthopaedic Surgery Resident

Anne K Haudenschild Ph.D.

Post doc

Trevor Shelton M.D.

Current UC Davis Orthopaedic Surgery Resident

Connor Delman M.D. 

Current UC Davis Orthopaedic Surgery Resident 

Cal Stone M.S.

PhD student in Mechanical Engineering

Abigail Niesen

MS/PhD student in biomedical engineering

Alexander Simileysky

MS student in Biomedical Engineering

Anna Garverick

Undergraduate student in biomedical engineering

Adithya Shekhar

Medical Student

 

  • Deva Chan
    • MS Thesis in Biomedical Engineering, 2008.
    • Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Albany, NY.
  • Nils Hakansson
    • PhD Dissertation in Biomedical Engineering, 2008.
    • Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS.
  • Conrad Smith
    • PhD Dissertation in Biomedical Engineering, 2009.
    • Research and Development Engineer, Stryker Endoscopy, San Jose, CA
  • Michelle Roland
    • MS Thesis in Biomedical Engineering, 2010.
    • Instructor in STEM, Green Mountain High School, Lakewood, CO.
  • Sue Marion
    • PhD Dissertation in Biomedical Engineering, 2010.
    • Biomechanical Engineer, Department of Physical Therapy, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.
  • Daniel Bonny
    • MS Thesis in Biomedical Engineering, 2013.
    • Development Engineer, THINK Surgical, Fremont, CA.
  • Stephanie Gu
    • MS Thesis in Biomedical Engineering, 2014.
    • Application Systems Engineer, Stryker MAKO, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Abheetinder Brar
    • MS Thesis in Biomedical Engineering, 2015.
    • Development Engineer, THINK Surgical, Fremont, CA. 
  • Emily Meike
    • MS Thesis in Biomedical Engineering, 2015.
    • PhD Student in Mathematics.
  • Josh Roth
    • PhD Dissertation in Biomedical Engineering, 2016.
    • Assistant Professor, Department of Orthopaedics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • Jeremy Riley
    •  MS Thesis in Biomedical Engineering, 2016.
    • Research Engineer, Align Technologies, San Jose, CA
  • Chih Ming Hseih
    •  MS Thesis in Biomedical Engineering, 2016.
    • Design Assurance Engineer at Pear Therapeutics, San Francisco, CA
  • Derrick Ross
    • MS Thesis in Biomedical Engineering, 2016.
    • Assistant Development Engineer, Western Cooling Efficiency Center, University of California, Davis, CA.
  • Stephanie Nicolet-Petersen
    • MS Thesis in Biomedical Engineering, 2018.
    • Technical Services Engineer at BIOTRONIK, Portland, OR

Societies

 

Life Fellow 

American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

Fellow

Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES)

Member

Orthopedic Research Society (ORS)

Member

International Society for Technology in Arthroplasty

Member

International Radiostereometry Society

Past Member

International ACL Study Group

Past Member

American Society of Biomechanics (ASB)

Past Member 

International Society of Biomechanics (ISB)

Past Member

American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)

Past Member

International Society for Skiing Safety (ISSS)

 

 

Editorial Appointments

Member

Editorial Board, Journal of Biomechanics, 2009-present

Assoc. Editor

Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, 1998-2004

Member

Editorial Consultants Board, Journal of Biomechanics, 1993-1999

Member

Editorial Board, Cycling Science, 1989 - 1997

Member

Editorial Board, International Journal of Sport Biomechanics, 1989-1992

2019

Coauthor on paper which received the Paolo Aglietti Award recognizing outstanding research contributing to the understanding of knee arthroplasty

2012

 

Distinguished Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California Davis.

2012

 

Creation of the Maury L. Hull Endowed Graduate Student Fellowship in the UC Davis College of Engineering with donation from Scott Maxwell

2010

Elected as Fellow in the Biomedical Engineering Society

2008

Bicycling Magazine Special Award for Excellence in Applied Science Research

2007

H. R. Lissner Medal from the Bioengineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (highest honor of the Division for career-level achievement)

2005

Major Professor to Corey Neu, recipient of the Zuhair Munir Award for the best PhD dissertation in the College of Engineering at UC Davis

2003

Elected as Chair of the Bioengineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers

2003

Recipient of the UC Davis Engineering Alumni Distinguished Teaching Award

2002

Major Professor to Tammy L. Haut Donahue, recipient of the Allen G. Marr Prize for the best PhD dissertation in the physical sciences at UC Davis

1999

Recipient of the Best Research Paper Award from the Clinical Investigation Facility, David Grant Medical Center

1998

Recipient of the Best Research Paper Award from the Clinical Investigation Facility, David Grant Medical Center

1998

Recipient of the West Peak Award from the off-road bicycle industry for innovations to bicycle technology

1997   

Elected to the Executive Committee of the Bioengineering Division of ASME

1993   

Elected as Fellow in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers

1989   

Recipient of the Giovanni Borelli Award from the American Society of Biomechanics (highest honor of the Society)

2019

Lozano, R. Campanelli, V. Howell, S. M. and Hull, M. L. (2019) Kinematic alignment more closely restores the groove location and the sulcus angle of the native trochlea than mechanical alignment: implications for prosthetic design, Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, 27; 1504–1513. pdf

Shelton, T. Howell, S. M. and Hull, M. L. (2019) A total knee arthroplasty is stiffer when the intraoperative tibial force is greater than the native knee, Journal of Knee Surgery, 32(10): 1008-1014. pdf

Roth, J. Howell, S. M. and Hull, M. L. (2019) Analysis of Differences in Laxities and Neutral Positions From Native After Kinematically Aligned TKA Using Cruciate Retaining Implants, Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 37(2): 358-369. Pdf

Shelton, T. Howell, S. M. and Hull, M. L. (2019) Is there a force target that predicts early patient-reported outcomes after kinematically aligned TKA? Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 477(5): 1200-1207. pdf

Hull, M. L. Ross, D. Nicolet-Petersen, S. and Howell, S. M. (2019) Does the condylar lift-off method or the separation method better detect loss of contact between tibial and femoral implants based on analysis of single-plane radiographs of total knee arthroplasty? Journal of Biomechanics, 86: 40-47, pdf

Lozano, R. Howell, S. M. and Hull, M. L. (2019) Repeatability, reproducibilIty, and agreement of three methods to approximate the functional flexion-extension axis of the tibiofemoral joint using 3D bone models of the femur, Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering, 22(14): 1144-1152. pdf

For 2010-2018 publications click here