Top Ten Best New Spine Technologies for 2011
Robin Young • Tue, November 8th, 2011
The winners of the 2011 Orthopedics This Week Best New Technology award for Spine are: Advanced Biologics, LLC, Aesculap, Inc., AlloSource, CoAlign Innovations, Inc., Ellipse Technologies, Inc., NeuroLogica Corporation, NLT SPINE, Nocimed, LLC, The Society for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery and Thompson MIS.
This annual award rewards inventors, engineering teams, surgeons and their companies who’ve created the most innovative, enduring and practical products in 2011 to treat back pain. To win the Orthopedics This Week Best New Technology for spine care, a new technology must meet the following criteria:
- Be creative and innovative.
- Have long-term significance to the problem of treating the diseases of the spine. Does this technology have staying power?
- Solve a clinical problem. To what extent does this technology solve a current clinical problem or problem that is inadequately solved today?
- Does it have the potential to improve standard of care?
- Is it cost effective?
- I would use it.
Our panel of surgeons scores every submission on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest score) for each of the above criteria.
We and our panel of surgeons were impressed that inventors—despite ever growing hurdles to innovation and entrepreneurism in spine—still managed to create a solid group of new products to submit for the 2011 Orthopedics This Week Spine Technology Awards.
We offer our thanks and deep appreciation to the engineering teams, surgeon inventors and the following companies for submitting their best ideas this year:
|Advanced Biologics, LLC||Aesculap, Inc.||AlloSource|
|Aspen Medical Products, Inc.||Cardinal Spine, LLC||CareFusion|
|CoAlign Innovations, Inc.||Ellipse Technologies, Inc.||Exactech, Inc.|
|joimax, Inc.||K2M, Inc.||Life Spine, Inc.|
|MEDICREA||Minimus Spine Inc.||NeuroLogica Corporation|
|NLT SPINE||Nocimed, LLC||NuVasive, Inc.|
|OsteoMed LLC||Ranier Technology Ltd.||SI-BONE, Inc.|
|SIGNUS Medical, LLC||Society for MIS Surgery||SpineWorks|
Our panel of surgeon judges was:
- Dr. Neel Anand: Director of Orthopaedic Spine Surgery at the Cedars-Sinai Spine Center
- Dr. Scott Boden: Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Director of the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center
- Dr. Isador Lieberman: Medical Director of the Scoliosis and Spine Tumor Center and Orthopedic Surgeon with Texas Back Institute
- Dr. Ken Pettine: Co-Founder of Rocky Mountain Associates in Orthopedic Medicine and Co-Inventor of the Maverick™ Artificial Disc.
So, without further delay, here are the ten best new spine technologies for 2011 arranged in alphabetical order:
AccuLIF® Expandable Interbody Fusion Cage – CoAlign Innovations, Inc.
AccuLIF is a crescent shaped, expandable Interbody Fusion (IBF) cage which is implanted by the surgeon using a transforaminal approach. The cage’s design incorporates a dual piston/cylinder shape and may be hydraulically expanded using sterile saline after being implanted by the surgeon. CoAlign created an articulating insertion handle for the surgeon to use to ensure optimal implant positioning between vertebral bodies. As the AccuLIF cage expands, a spring activated, automatic, locking mechanism locks the implant at 1mm increments. Finally, the engineers built into the implant a link between the two locking cylinders which ensures that the device will lock evenly. CoAlign is located at 150 North Hill Drive, Suite 1, Brisbane, California 94005. Phone: 760-683-4215.
AlloStem® Stem Cell Bone Growth Substitute– AlloSource
AlloStem is a living cellular allograft implant which is a unique combination of partially demineralized allograft bone and adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells. The material is designed to offer surgeons an alternative to iliac crest harvest or other autograft materials for the surgical repair of boney defects. AlloSource’s proprietary processing system permits an intact partially demineralized allograft strip or cube to be implanted as a bridge between vertebrae. AlloStem is an osteoconductive scaffold, osteoinductive natural growth factors and living cells to support new bone formation. AlloSource is located at 6278 South Troy Circle, Centennial, Colorado. Phone: 720-382-2756
BodyTom™ – NeuroLogica Corporation
The BodyTom is a battery powered, portable CT scanner—radiolucent spine table included—with impressive imaging power. The BodyTom transforms any operating room into an intraoperative spine imaging suite. BodyTom is a full body, 32 slice CT with an impressive 85cm gantry and a 60cm field of view. It is capable of imaging the entire spine, from C1 to S5 in one pass, providing the surgeon with high quality 3D images of both bone and soft tissue. Finally, the BodyTom easily interfaces with surgical navigation systems that accept DICOM images. Intraoperative images can be uploaded to surgical navigation via PACS connection, direct network cable link, wireless transmission or digital media transfer device (CD/USB). NeuroLogica is located at 14 Electronics Avenue, Danvers, Massachusetts 01923. Phone: 978-564-8500.
BoneBac Press – Thompson MIS
Hydrolift Vertebral Body Replacement System – Aesculap, Inc.
The Hydrolift Vertebral Body Replacement System uses hydrostatic pressure to expand and maintain distraction of the disc space. Other expandable cages use a screw mechanism or ratchet style mechanical approach to achieve distraction. Because of this, other cages require a very high cross sectional area and therefore excess bone removal while performing the corpectomy. Since Hydrolift uses hydrostatic pressure and an external hydraulic pump, surgeons can preserve more of the patient’s host bone. Finally, the Hydrolift incorporates a failsafe mechanism in the hydraulic pump which limits the amount of pressure available to minimize or prevent endplate damage. Aesculap can be reached at 3773 Corporate Parkway, Center Valley, Pennsylvania 18034. Phone: 610-984-9242.
Magnetic Expansion Control (MAGEC™) – Ellipse Technologies, Inc.
The Magnetic Expansion system uses a cylindrical, radially-poled internal magnet to noninvasively lengthen or shorten an implanted rod. Early onset scoliosis patients have spinal deformity which is diagnoses before the age of ten. Surgically fusing the spines of these patients at such a young age creates an enormous risk of permanently undersizing the thoracic cavity and therefore reducing the amount of space for developing lungs and organs. Repeated surgeries to adjust rod length raises new problems. The MAGEC™ system solves this problem. The magnet inside MAGEC’s rods drives a lead screw which moves the two ends of the rod. The surgeon controls the magnet using an External Remote Controller (ERC). In a lengthening procedure the patient lies awake on an examining table. The ERC is placed on the patient’s back and within a few minutes the MAGEC rod has been non-invasively lengthened. If the patient feels discomfort, the rod can also be shortened until the discomfort disappears. Ellipse Technologies may be reached at 13900 Alton Parkway, Suite 123, Irvine, California 92618. Phone: 949-837-3600.
Nociscan™ Virtual Discogram™ – Nocimed, LLC
Nociscan is a non-invasive test which distinguishes painful from non-painful lumbar discs and thereby better localizes the source of chronic, severe discogenic low back pain. Nociscan is a custom, proprietary software application that works in concert with commercially available Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) pulse sequence installed on standard, high field MRI systems. Nociscan’s proprietary protocols create a non-invasive exam to acquire chemical information from lumbar intervertebral discs. The data is processed to measure “disc pain biomarkers” in the discs that have been correlated to pain. Nociscan then uses a diagnostic algorithm based on measured biomarkers to generate a “Nociscore” which is useful for distinguishing painful from non-painful discs. Nocimed is located at the Plug and Play Tech Center, 370 Convention Way, Redwood City, California 94063. Phone: 650-241-1740.
OsteoAMP Structural – Advanced Biologics, LLC
OsteoAMP is an allograft derived interbody spacer and granules which, according to the company, has more growth factors than DBMs and, in animal models, grows bone at a higher rate than stem cells or synthetics. The key to OsteoAMP is the process Advanced Biologics uses to create the material. Collagen subfibrils are swelled to increase growth factor binding sites. The growth factors contained within bone marrow are solubilized and the soluble growth factors then bind to the swollen collagen subfibrils. When the subfibrils are reduced back to their original size and configuration, they have a higher amount of BMP-2 than, for example, 100% DBM products. The process, in other words, significantly increases the growth factor content of the implant. Advanced Biologics is located at 555 Corporate Drive, Suite 260, Ladera Ranch, California 92694. Phone: 800-272-0267.
PROW™ FUSION Intervertebral Body Fusion Device – NLT SPINE
The PROW device is a tool for distracting, preparing and filling the intervertebral space less invasively (7mm width conduit) and thereby magnify the benefits of minimally invasive TLIF procedures (shorter length of stay, shorter time to ambulation and lower overall cost). The key to the PROW is its unique conduit—which is really a kind of cannula, but with so much more engineering and capabilities that it is more accurately described as a conduit. The articulating conduit gives the surgeon the ability to insert and use large implants and surgical tools through a small incision. Because the tool articulates, it enters the body straight but then sequentially deflects at an accurate inflection point so as to form a predefined shape on the treatment site. NLT SPINE may be reached at 6 Yoni Netanyahu Street, Or Yehuda, Israel 60376. Phone: 972-3-634-4514.