World's First Biodegradable Joint Implant
Posted in Orthopedics
by Norbert Sparrow on March 1, 2012
Finland's Tampere University of Technology (TUT) reports that it has developed a biodegradable joint implant
, which it believes to be a world first. Used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, the RegJoint recently received the CE mark.
The joint implant was developed in the mid-1990s in a collaborative effort involving TUT's Department of Biomedical Engineering, Conmed Linvatec Biomaterials, Scaffdex Ltd and a group of orthopaedic surgeons, among others, from Tampere University Hospital. Scaffdex will bring RegJoint to market.
Conventional surgical options to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis rely on permanent implants or the artificial induction of joint ossification between two bones, explains a press release
distributed by the university. RegJoint offers an alternative. The technology allows the patient’s bone tissue to remain intact during the operation and makes reconstruction of the joint more sustainable. Moreover, it cushions the area, relieving pain caused by friction between the bones.
The implant is used to repair injuries in the small joints of the fingers and toes. It is made of biodegradable polylactide copolymer and placed inside the joint capsule that surrounds the joint. The implant stimulates the body to produce connective tissue cells and is gradually replaced by the patient’s own soft tissue. RegJoint forms a neojoint between the bone ends and restores normal mobility.
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