Winning trio Henry Wallman prize
The Henry Wallman prize winners 2019: Rickard Brånemark, Max Ortiz Catalan and Kerstin Hagberg.​​

Innovative prosthetic teamwork rewarded

​The research team behind a new generation of bionic limbs has been awarded this year’s Henry Wallman prize in medical technology. In the winning trio is Max Ortiz Catalan from Chalmers University of Technology.​
​​The team, consisting of Rickard Brånemark, Max Ortiz Catalan and Kerstin Hagberg, has successfully developed a new type of prosthesis for patients with amputations. The new prosthesis is directly attached to the skeleton in the amputation stump with an abutment penetrating the skin. 

Rickard Brånemark and Kerstin Hagberg have dedicated decades to clinically implement this superior method of mechanical attachment of a limb prosthesis to the body. Further collaborative work by Max Ortiz Catalan allowed to also connect the prosthesis to the users’ nervous system, so patients can control the artificial limb as their own biological extremity.

In the justification of the prize, it is emphasized that the trio demonstrates how a good collaboration between representatives for different competences can combine basic research with surgery, medical engineering, and clinical work to create products and solutions that can benefit a large group of patients.
Lower-limb prosthesis
As the team includes rehabilitation in their work, the real-life use of the innovative prosthetic solution is ensured. The latter is also strengthened by the formation of Integrum AB; a company that further develops and markets the results.

”Collaborative work between different disciplines is often sought but hard to achieve. I feel honored to have the possibility to work with highly competent individuals of a variety of backgrounds, who are willing to go through the hurdles of multi-disciplinary collaborations for a greater good. Several people have contributed to the creation and implementation of this technology, and I’m very grateful for their efforts. We will continue developing this technology further to restore even more function and reduce disability,” says Max Ortiz Catalan.  

The awarded team 2019
Rickard Brånemark – MSc (Chalmers), PhD, MD orthopaedic surgeon
Max Ortiz Catalan – PhD, biomedical engineer
Kerstin Hagberg – PhD, physiotherapist

The prize will be awarded at a ceremony this autumn. Date will be announced after the summer.


About the prize
The Henry Wallman prize is an innovation prize in medical technology, awarded annually since 2018 to researchers or graduate students who, in close collaboration between expertise in technology and health care, successfully have transferred new knowledge from academia to practical medical care. The Foundation for Biomedical Engineering (Stiftelsen Medicin & Teknik) at Chalmers is hosting the prize. 
Henry Wallman came to Chalmers in 1948 and was a pioneer in biomedical engineering research and development. An important part of Henry Wallman’s deed was his philosophy and vision around close collaboration between technical and medical expertise to achieve success.

Contact
Max Ortiz Catalan, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, maxo@chalmers.se​
Dr. Max Ortiz Catalan is an Associate Professor at the Biomedical Signals and Systems research unit at Chalmers, and founder of the Biomechatronics and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory (@ChalmersBNL). His research focus on neural control of artificial limbs via osseointegrated implants. This involves bio-electric signals acquisition and processing, neural interfaces, machine learning, osseointegration, and neurostimulation. Max Ortiz Catalan is leading the development and clinical implementation of the Osseointegrated Human-Machine Gateway​.


Published: Wed 12 Jun 2019. Modified: Thu 13 Jun 2019