Cafe Scientifique - Vicatos
The new series of Cafe Scientifique was launched by RCIPS on 21st January 2014 at cocktail hour in the Green Salon of the Irma Stern Museum. The concept behind these events is to showcase inventions in the University's portfolio and highlight commercial opportunities. Invited guests are drawn from the commercial and investments world and the general public. The forum provides an hands-on opportunity to explore cutting-edge ideas in science and technology and encourage off-the-cuff discussion and lively debate in a relaxed environment outside of the traditional academic context.
Dr George Vicatos, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, presented a talk entitled Metal to Bone, A New Life: Small Engineering Task, Major Medical Achievement. His talk outlined the wide array of life-changing possibilities offered by modern metal implants in the human body. There was a robust interaction with the audience, provocative questions were posed and an energetic exchange of views followed, all in the spirit of a traditional Cafe Scientifique, which aims to generate dialogue rather than static presentation.
Dr George Vicatos, of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, presented a talk entitled Metal to Bone, A New Life: Small Engineering Task, Major Medical Achievement. The session explored the way that his passion for medicine has lead him to apply his engineering skills to the design of major parts of the human skeleton and how his metal implants have changed the lives of more than 500 patients in South Africa and abroad. He described how his research team has made a conceptual and surgical breakthrough in assisting the human body to regenerate itself and close missing bone structures. Launching his talk from the perspective of the human skeleton as a magnificently engineered structure that should not be taken for granted, he explored the options available today if a piece of this structure is missing. Taking the historical view of research into skeletal replacements as a process that has been ongoing for over 4,000 years, he pointed out that there is now technology that can salvage a damaged limb and avoid amputation. In conclusion, Dr Vicatos outlined the next steps for skeletal reconstruction in the future and showed how favourably South Africa compares to the rest of the world in terms of these advanced technologies. Dr Vicatos is the owner of a spin-off orthopaedics company and holds numerous patents and awards.
Cafe Scientifique events are made possible through the generous sponsorship of the Technology Innovation Agency.