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Orthopedic Surgical Devices with Controlled Fluid- Induced Expansion Properties for Improved Bone Fixation and Bone Integration

Project Team

Sorin Siegler, PhD Mechanical Engineering Department

Giuseppe Palmese, PhD Chemical and Biological Engineering Department

Antonios Kontsos, PhD Mechanical Engineering Department

Pablo Huang Zhang, PhD Mechanical Engineering Department

Keith Wapner, MD Orthopedic Surgery, University of Pennsylvania

Christopher Jones, MD Orthopedic Surgery, Rothman Institute, TJU

Michael Ciccotti, MD Orthopedic Surgery, Rothman Institute, TJU

Jarrett Cain, DPM, Penn State Hershey Bone and Joint Institute, Hershey, PA

Thomas P. Shaer, VMD Veterinary School, University of Pennsylvania

Brian Garvey, MSc CEO of Kinos Medical.


Fixation to bone is fundamental in many orthopedic applications such as re-attachment of torn tendons and ligaments and repair of osteochondral defects. Currently, bone fixation is achieved using screws, anchors, pegs and interfrence-fit grafts. Conventional bone fixation systems use engineering materials including titanium, stainless steel, and PEEK. These have inherent deficiencies including: poor fixation strength in low-density bone, stress shielding inducing bone resorption, and lack of osteointegration. These inherent deficiencies give rise to surgery-related failures characterized by anchor pullout, graft subsidence, and implant loosening. We propose to develop a family of bone fixation products that will improve the outcome of orthopedic surgery using a porous co-polymer with controlled fluid-induced expansion properties as part of the bone-fixation mechanism. Such products are expected to improve surgical outcome by increasing fixation strength to bone, preventing bone resorption, and promoting osteointegration. This will impact thousands of patients undergoing orthopedic procedures that require bone fixation such as rotator cuff repairs, ligament repairs, tendon transfers, and repair of osteochondral defects. We propose to focus on two applications: suture anchors, and repair of osteochondral defects both of which will benefit from similar implementation of the proposed solution. Utilizing surgical-expert evaluation in our team and biomechanical testing on artificial and natural bone, we will demonstrate our products’ viability and improved performance compared to conventional devices.