Medical Technology

How Biogradable Implants Work



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According to the Finland University of Technology (TUT), biodegradable implants are made from a substance called polyactide copolymer. It is mostly used in operations on the fingers and toes. This implant helps the bone grow tissue, and then it disappears. This biodegradable implant is also called ReJoint and it has received approval to be sold in Europe. TUT states that this implant has been clinically tested extensively, and patients give the product very positive reviews. “ReJoint” is the world’s first biodegradable joint implant. How does this implant work?

First, the biodegradable joint implant is an alternative to traditional surgery. Bone cartilage is destroyed by arthritis and other diseases. The trauma to cartilage is difficult to treat, and bones do not regenerate cartilage properly to reduce the patient’s pain. The biodegradable joint implant gives physicians an alternative treatment method. The patient will not have a plastic, a metal, or a ceramic device placed in their body. Their doctors will be reuniting their (i.e., ReJoint) joints.

Next, during the surgery, the patient's bone stays intact. The biodegradable implant cushions the space between the bones. This implant, like a piece of cotton, helps the body produce new tissue cells. In the process, patients are able to get back to their daily activities without experiencing any pain. Simply put, the implant helps the body grow new joints. Right now, doctors use permanent man-made implants. The cotton-like circular device comes in various sizes, from 18 mm to 4.5 mm in diameter.

In the future, doctors will be using biodegradable implants for the fingers and toes. These implants have been tested on 200 patients. Whenever there is an injury to the finger or toe, it causes pain and the patient is not able to move the finger or toe the right way. The procedure takes about 30 minutes, and the implant is placed between the two bones. The implant prevents the bones from rubbing together. Over time, the new cells are formed between the bones and the implant disappears.

Finally, companies that sell medical devices will be selling this product to doctors, hospitals and medical centers. Some companies are also trying to find ways to develop similar products that will eventually work on larger bones such as the ankle, wrist, hip and knee. Biodegradable implants are expensive. However, the patient does not have a second surgery to remove the implant or the costs and risks of a second surgery.

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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.tut.fi/en/current/researchers-develop-world-s-first-biodegradable-joint-implant-p025876c2
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2114008/Need-new-joint-Now-grow-own.html
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://gajitz.com/biodegradable-joint-implants-grow-new-finger-toe-joints/
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://gizmodo.com/5889893/whats-the-point-of-the-worlds-first-biodegradable-joint-implant
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://journals.tubitak.gov.tr/medical/issues/sag-00-30-3/sag-30-3-16-9905-2.pdf