The major goal of the research team of the Clinic for Small Animal Surgery is to study clinical problems in companion animals that provide naturally occurring models for human diseases. Our group strongly believes in the so-called ‘one health’ principle: by conducting basic and clinical research in small animal patients, we can improve the understanding of disease mechanisms and improve treatments for both people and animals.
In the present age of continuous scientific super-specialization, a strong inter-disciplinary collaboration between human surgeons, biomolecular scientists, biomechanical engineers and other scientific specialties is imperative. Over the past years, we have established a collaborative research network between different research institutions, including the Institute for Biomechanics, ETH Zurich, Utrecht University (the Netherlands), and the University of Florida (USA). Together, this team of veterinarians, engineers, and human surgeons is searching for solutions to clinical problems common to animals and people.
The research of our group can be subdivided into four main focus groups:
- Team Spine, which focuses on the development of new surgical and biomolecular treatment strategies for degenerative spinal disease and back pain in dogs.
- Team Joint, involving research on knee and shoulder, combing biomechanical and biological approaches to improve our understanding of meniscal injuries and joint instability, among the most recent focus areas.
- Team Trauma, which focuses on implant development and testing in addition to advancing new minimally invasive approaches to osteosynthesis.
- Team Oncologic Surgery, which focuses on skin reconstructive surgery and novel techniques for intraoperative tracking of sentinel lymph nodes.
Specific expertise in the group include companion animal orthopedic, general and oncologic surgery, neurosurgery, biomechanical testing of surgical techniques and implants, and biomolecular research techniques (qPCR, Western blot, immunohistochemistry) specifically for fibrous tissues (intervertebral disc and meniscus).