Shannon-based medical technology firm PBC BioMed is to lead a consortium aiming to revolutionise the treatment of complex osteoporotic bone fractures.
The project has been awarded €3.4m in the latest round of funding from the Government’s Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF). The remaining €2m will be provided by industry partners.
The project, called OsStic, is aiming to develop and deliver a bioinspired adhesive that will stick broken bone tissue together following an osteoporotic fracture and then facilitate rapid healing and repair of the bone.
It is hoped the development of the bone adhesive will reduce operating times, the risk of infection and reduce the need for hardware in complex osteoporotic fracture treatment. Osteoporotic fractures are extremely challenging for orthopaedic surgeons to treat, and result in a failure rate of 10%-15%. The resulting annual fracture-related costs are €45bn in Europe and are expected to increase by 27% by 2030.
I-Form, the Science Foundation Ireland research centre for advanced manufacturing, Dublin City University research centre Biodesign Europe and product design company Dolmen Design and Innovation are also partners in the project.
Headquartered in Shannon with a presence in Memphis in the US, PBC BioMed designs, develops, and manufactures medical devices. Managing partner at PBC BioMed, Paul Burke, acknowledged the support of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment for the OsStic project.
I-Form investigator, Professor Nicholas Dunne, will act as the academic lead, along with colleagues Dr Tanya Levingstone and Professor Helen McCarthy of Biodesign Europe.
Separately, Cork-based medical device firm Intelligent Implants has announced that its SmartFuse system has received Breakthrough Device Designation by the US Food and Drug Administration.
SmartFuse is a wirelessly enabled orthopaedics platform that has been designed to remotely stimulate, control, and monitor bone growth.
The goal of the SmartFuse system is to accelerate bone growth and provide remote monitoring of the patient to support real-time clinical decision-making. The first indication for the SmartFuse system will be for use in lumbar spinal fusions.
Intelligent Implants also has a presence in Gothenburg, Sweden and Houston, Texas. The FDA's Breakthrough Device Designation gives patients and doctors timely access to new medical devices by speeding up their development, assessment and review.
Benjamin Hertzog, executive chairman of Intelligent Implants said: “I believe that SmartFuse represents the future of medical devices, where we have smart implants designed to not only provide a therapeutic benefit, but to also provide data to support real-time clinical decision making throughout the duration of therapy.