Faculty of Biological Sciences

Student Education News

HRH meets 'Frank' the cycling skeleton

HRH meets ‘Frank’ the cycling skeleton

HRH meets 'Frank' the cycling skeleton


HRH the Countess of Wessex visited researchers from the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (iMBE), University of Leeds at the Great Yorkshire Show last week.

The Countess had the chance to meet the team and ‘Frank’, the University’s very own cycling skeleton. Frank is fitted with two artificial hips and an artificial knee and demonstrates the pioneering research and education in the fields of medical devices and regenerative medicine undertaken by iMBE.

Children and adults were challenged to handle artificial joints, fit the pieces together and identify where on the body they could be used. There was also a giant “build the knee” challenge, where children could learn about how the knee is made up.

Pip Garner, EPSRC Research Fellow in the School of Biomedical Sciences, said: “We are dedicated to engaging the public and communicating our research and have spoken to over 3000 enthusiastic people, of all ages.

Part of iMBE’s research focuses on regenerative medicine, such as biological scaffolds to enable the body to heal itself. With the help of wool, pipe cleaners and sparkly pompoms we’ve been able to explain our work to children visiting here today.

We’re proud to be part of the Great Yorkshire Show and see how our research touches so many people’s lives. Many of visitors thanked us sincerely for helping them to explore and understand what we do.”

The exhibition also included models of a tendon, spinal vertebrae and cartilage, as well as microscopy images, helping to demonstrate the properties of the tissues that can become damaged and painful over time. There were also several touchscreens which allowed people to explore inside the human body through computer models and medical images, and to answer the important question….”why are bones like Crunchie bars?”

You can follow news of Frank the cycling skeleton on twitter at #tourdefrankleeds

Discover more about the work of iMBE www.imbe.leeds.ac.uk

Discover more about iMBE

iMBE are a large multidisciplinary group of researchers working at the global forefront of modern biomedical engineering based in the University of Leeds. With a goal of ‘50 active years after 50’® we are dedicated to improving the quality of life of an ageing population, it is our belief that our second 50 years can be as active as the first. Driven by clinical challenges, we undertake solution-focused pioneering research and education in the fields of medical devices, such as artificial hip and knee joints, and regenerative medicine, such as biological scaffolds to enable the body to heal itself to combat such disorders as osteoarthritis.


22nd July 2014

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