Montana Patent of the Month – December 2020

We all know how important bone health is. We’ve heard how diet and physical exercise can affect your bone health and help us avoid osteoporosis. Bones are what makes up our structure. They anchor our muscles and hold our organs. Bone degradation or infection are serious conditions and may require removal of bone along with bone grafts and implants afterwards. So, the viability of those implants are very important. Many implants are inserted in a compressed, dehydrated state and slowly expand when rehydrating in the body. However, this method does not support the best osteoconduction (bone cells slowly grow over the surface of the graft/implant). To improve osteoconduction and patient outcomes, Bacterin International, Inc. have developed a method for bone-based products (such as grafts and implants) to retain a compressed state. 

The bone-based biocompatible implants are compressed within a void (a spinal cage or skeletal void in a patient) to retain a strong contact pressure when implanted. The implants are adapted to fit within the patient’s cavity with the use of molds before dehydration occurs. Implants then quickly expand to a specific size when rehydrating within the body after being implanted in order to apply the correct contact pressure that encourage osteoconductivity and generate bone growth and fusion. This process can be checked by putting the implant in water, saline, or another solution, causing the implant to expand within just 15 to 30 minutes. The implant also has a coating that makes it visible in x-rays, so doctors can monitor the patient’s bone growth. 

Are you adapting existing technology for a new 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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