Georgia Patent of the Month – January 2024

Cartiva, Inc. is revolutionizing the landscape of joint implants with a groundbreaking invention, a kit designed to enhance the precision and efficacy of carpometacarpal (CMC) joint procedures. This kit, comprising an introducer, plunger, and a hydrogel-based implant, introduces a new era in orthopedic advancements.

Implants are often used to replace deteriorated or damaged cartilage within a joint. The implant provides support and stability in an effort to maintain functionality of the joint and reduce pain from inflammatory diseases.

The CMC joints are five joints in the wrist. One of these is along the base of the thumb, where it meets the hand, and is responsible for letting the thumb move freely in many directions.

At the heart of this innovation is the hydrogel body of the implant, a marvel in material science. Engineered with a saddle-shaped upper surface, it mimics the contours of the trapezium, providing a tailored fit for the CMC joint. This hydrogel composition, featuring polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and water, is not only load-bearing but also non-biodegradable, promising lasting relief for joint-related ailments.

The kit’s introducer, with its distinct flared shape and alignment indicia, ensures precise placement of the implant. The first alignment indicia, akin to a trough shape, facilitates alignment with surface features of the CMC bone. The kit’s plunger complements this with a contoured distal end, allowing for seamless deployment of the implant while preventing rotation.

One notable feature is the intentional protrusion of the deployed implant, ranging from 1 mm to 3 mm. This deliberate design choice aims to optimize joint function and ensure a snug fit within the CMC joint.

The comprehensive kit includes additional tools such as placers and drill bits, each meticulously crafted to augment the implantation process. For instance, the drill bit, equipped with a flange and a lumen for guide pin tracking, streamlines the creation of a precise recess in the CMC bone.

The inventive deployment system aligns with Cartiva’s commitment to providing orthopedic solutions that prioritize accuracy and patient well-being. The company has also designed a cartilage implant for the first metatarsophalangeal joint. In designing this implant, the company advanced the industry with the first new articular surface material to be approved by the FDA in 18 years. Their commitment to innovation now extends from hand to toe, striving to bring better joint solutions to everyone in need.

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