Mississippi Patent of the Month – April 2022

Hernias, osteoporosis, and other spinal disorders can often lead to the degeneration of the spinal disc. This can lead to pain, nerve damage, or even loss of mobility. In some cases, operative treatment might include disc removal and replacement with interbody spaces. If the spacer becomes dislodged, there can be serious consequences including spinal misalignment and pain. Zavation, LLC, a medical device company, has developed a new type of spinal implant which encourages bone growth, preventing rejection and dislodgement.

Their design has a cage formed of polyetheretherketone (PEEK). The cage works to support the adjacent vertebrae using corrugations to create a more reliable grip than traditional titanium implants. Titanium is still included, filling the recesses in the opposing superior and inferior surfaces. The titanium ensures the device continues to promote osseointegration and bone growth. Changing the external coating from titanium to PEEK prevents the delamination of the implant. The titanium in the recesses function as needed to support bone growth without risk of flaking.

Their design improves contact area at the implant-bone interface while maintaining the benefits of the osseointegration materials. Encouraging bone growth helps to ensure that the implant is well retained and strengthens the vertebral joint. By encouraging bone growth, the implant mimics the bone density of adjacent vertebrae and prevents implant rejection.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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