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Bioimplantable Device For Reconstructive Shoulder Surgery (England)

This is a Bioimplantable Device for Reconstructive Shoulder Surgery. It was designed by Ellis Developments Ltd., Peter Butcher, Prof. Simon Frostick and Dr. Alan McLeod and manufactured by Pearsalls Ltd.. It is dated 2004 and we acquired it in 2004. Its medium is polyester and its technique is machine embroidered, base cloth dissolved. It is a part of the Textiles department.

This embroidered medical device is an unconventional collaboration between physicians and embroidery designers, combining textile engineering with the life sciences. The technique of machine embroidery on dissolvable substrate, long used to produce machine-made lace, is employed here to embroider surgical devices from suture thread. The CAD program used to create new embroidery designs is used in conjunction with advanced medical imaging technologies to generate customized implants that mimic natural fibrous arrays, such as ligaments. The device is manufactured in the form of a snowflake, with eight short and eight long projections from a center ring, machine embroidered in white and blue polyester with the base cloth dissolved for a lace-like effect. The embroidery technique allows the creation of “structurally biocompatible” devices with integrated eyelets for the insertion of screws and an open lace-like structure that promotes tissue in-growth.
The device was developed by Ellis Developments Ltd., manufactured by Pearsalls Ltd., designed by Prof. Simon Frostick, Dr. Lars Neumann, Prof. W. Angus Wallace, and Dr. Alan McLeod between 1997 and 2003; the textile was designed by Peter Butcher in 2004.
Cooper-Hewitt’s collection contains historic and contemporary examples of this technique (machine embroidery on dissolvable substrate) used for decorative purposes. This would be the first technical use of the technique to be accessioned into the collection, and may be the first technical use yet devised.

This object was featured in our Object of the Week series in a post titled Hi-tech Embroidery.

This object was donated by Ellis Developments Ltd.. It is credited Gift of Ellis Developments Ltd..

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  • Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, 1987.0474.01.
  • 14.2012.39

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Its dimensions are

diam: 14.3 cm (5 5/8 in.)

Cite this object as

Bioimplantable Device For Reconstructive Shoulder Surgery (England); Designed by Ellis Developments Ltd. (United Kingdom), Peter Butcher (British, b. 1947), Prof. Simon Frostick (British, b. 1956), Dr. Alan McLeod (British, b. 1964); Manufactured by Pearsalls Ltd. (United Kingdom); polyester; diam: 14.3 cm (5 5/8 in.); Gift of Ellis Developments Ltd.; 2004-15-1

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Bioimplantable Device For Reconstructive Shoulder Surgery (England) |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=7 June 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>