Utah Patent of the Month – June 2023

When it comes to healing bone fractures or fusing bone portions, the traditional methods often fall short in providing optimal compression and stability. Bridging Medical Group, a pioneering medical device company, has taken a new approach to solving this dilemma, transforming the healing process and reducing recovery time significantly.

Traditional implants are known to fail at maintaining interfragmentary compression. In order to improve on this compression, the company quantified osteoclastic (a type of bone cell that breaks down bone) resorption of necrotic bone. This gave them insight into the cause of the failures and how to prevent it.

The newly patented bone compression system uses a dynamic load that stimulates bone fusion. This cutting-edge technology involves the utilization of a specially designed spring washer with specific load versus deflection characteristics achieved through meticulous engineering and material selection. The spring washer is incorporated into medical devices like bone screws, bone plates, and screw systems, improving the way fractures and bone discontinuities are treated.

Traditional methods of bone healing rely on the formation of a temporary cartilaginous material followed by the development of a mechanically weak woven bone callus. However, Bridging Medical’s innovative approach allows for direct lamellar bone growth across the discontinuity, bypassing the callus formation and significantly reducing healing time. This approach sustains compression and stability allowing for near-immediate weight bearing and primary bone healing. With immediate weight bearing capabilities, the patient can avoid muscle and bone atrophy. The shortened healing time and enhanced stability result in a lower likelihood of complications and revisional surgeries, promoting better patient outcomes.

One of the critical aspects of this technology is sustaining optimal compression throughout the healing process. The spring washer and associated devices provide continuous load and compression to the bone fragments, promoting bone growth and minimizing the risk of hardware loosening. This feature sets it apart from existing medical devices in the market, providing surgeons with a minimally invasive and highly effective fixation option.

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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