FOR Receives Four New Patents in 2020

The Fellowship of Orthopaedic Researchers (FOR) has assembled an extensive portfolio of United States (US) and Outside US patents related to our magnet technology and continues to be very active in developing and protecting its intellectual property.  In FY 2020, despite the challenges presented by Covid-19, FOR has received four additional U.S. Patents.

On February 11, 2020, U.S. Patent 10,555,787 B21 titled Internal Magnetic Traction Device for the Cervical Spine was issued.  In addition, U.S. Patent 10,660,674 B22 was issued on May 26, 2020, titled Magnetically Levitated Spinous Process Implants and Methods Thereof.  These two patents are directly related to our magnetic spine applications program.

The third U.S. Patent 10,675,152 B23 titled Magnetic Devices for Reducing Loading Across Cartilaginous Joints, was issued on June 9, 2020.  And on December 29, 2020, FOR was issued U.S. Patent 10,874,518 B24 titled Magnetic Prosthetic Implants and Methods Thereof.  This patent relates to FOR’s ongoing program of developing an advanced magnetically levitated prosthesis for high activity amputees such as those resulting from military service.

FOR remains committed to find new and innovative methods to improve functionality of patients with ailments of the musculoskeletal system.

For more information on these patents, please visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website at: http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm.

FOR Trademarks “Magnes” For Its Clinical Devices That Incorporate Rare Earth Magnets

FOR is currently developing a series devices for the treatment of various spinal pathologies that utilize its rare earth magnet technology. Depending on the application, rare earth magnets are incorporated into the functional design of the device. The orientation of the magnets’ polarity can be used to create attractive or repulsive forces across a distance. This distance may be a separation between body segments, across a joint space or between multiple components of the implanted spinal device.

On December 8, 2020, an application to register the trademark “Magnes” was filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and assigned U.S. Serial No. 90366542.

Where did “Magnes” come from and why does it identify our clinical devices?

The origin dates back over 4,000 years ago. As legend has it, a shepherd boy named Magnes was tending to his flock in a region of northern Greece called Magnesia, modern-day Turkey. In need of new grazing pastures, he led his sheep to the base of Mount Ida.

Magnes stepped upon a peculiar piece of rock and suddenly found that the nails in his shoes and the metal tip of his staff were stuck fast to the rock on which he stood. Intrigued, Magnes began unearthing the unusual rock which was black in color and, upon its excavation, proved very large–the reason the metal nails and his rod flew with such force. The ore exhibiting natural magnetism was what is now known as lodestone.

Always creative with their naming, the Greeks named the lodestone discovered by Magnes of Magnesia, “magnetite”. As the word traveled from Greek to Latin to English, it was eventually shortened to magnet. 

Thus “Magnes” is a perfect identifier for our devices which utilize rare earth magnets in their clinical application.

FOR Issued New Patent for Magnetic Prosthetic Implant

The Fellowship of Orthopaedic Researchers has been issued a new patent. U.S. Patent 10,201,438 titled Magnetic Prosthetic Implants and Methods Thereof was issued on February 12, 2019.

The magnetic prosthetic implant device includes an internal component and an external component. For more information on this patent, please visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website at http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm.

Fellowship’s staff remain committed to their mission and continue to conduct translational research in an effort to cure, treat, and prevent orthopaedic diseases and injuries.

FOR Issued New Patent for Facet Screws

The Fellowship of Orthopaedic Researchers is proud to announce it has received an additional U.S. Patent. On May 15, 2018, U.S. Patent 9,968,391 B2 titled Facet Screws was issued. It is believed that the facet screws described in this patent have an enhanced or increased “pullout force” as compared to a conventional facet screw.

Fellowship’s staff remain committed to their mission and continue to conduct translational research in the effort to cure, treat, and prevent orthopaedic diseases and injuries. For more information on this patent, please visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website at:
http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm.

Facet Screw figure

Fellowship Hosts YLC “Power Ties”

In support of our relationship with the Young Leadership Council (YLC), Fellowship of Orthopaedic Researchers was proud to host a group of 8th grade students from Langston Hughes Academy in New Orleans participating in the Job Site Visit phase of Power Ties on April 6, 2018.

Power Ties, a partnership of the Young Leadership Council and First Line Schools, is a career awareness program that connects professionals with 8th grade students to talk about career readiness and business etiquette. The students were given a tour of the FOR facility which included all of our specialty laboratories. They also participated in several hands-on projects while visiting the Design, Image Analysis, Biomechanics, and Cadaver Labs. The half-day session concluded with lunch, questions, and discussion.

For more information on YLC Power Ties, please visit their website: http://ylcnola.org/project/power-ties/.

FOR Abstract Selected for Presentation at 2018 AAOS Annual Meeting

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Central Program Committee has selected our abstract application titled Treatment of Osteochondral Defects of the Knee with Pyrocarbon Implants for presentation at the 2018 AAOS Annual Meeting in New Orleans. The paper (No. 904) will be presented by Samantha L. Salkeld during the Sports Medicine IX Session on Friday, March 9, 2018, from 4:00 – 6:00 pm.

Treatment of Osteochondral Defects of the Knee with Pyrocarbon Implants
Samantha L. Salkeld, MSE, Laura P. Patron, MS , Stephen D. Cook, PhD, Deryk G. Jones, MD, Liam Nolan, Michael Harrison

Introduction

Patients with focal articular cartilage defects, too young for knee replacement or poor candidates for regenerative procedures (age, BMI or rehabilitation requirements), are left with few treatment options. This study evaluated a pyrolytic carbon (pyrocarbon) implant in a large animal chondral defect model and compared the clinical (pain, gait analysis and lameness), radiologic, gross, and histologic outcomes to control (chondroplasty) defects on the adjacent femoral and opposing meniscus and tibial cartilage.

Methods

Twenty-five Suffolk sheep (110kg) were utilized. A 10mm diameter focal chondral defect was created on the medial femoral condyle and treated with either a chondroplasty control (10 animals) or a 10 mm pyrolytic carbon implant (PIR) with a 5mm diameter stem (14 animals). One animal served as a sham operated control. The pyrolytic carbon implant consists of a stem that sits below subchondral bone and a cap that is congruent with the articular surface. Pyrolytic carbon is biocompatible, impervious to wear and provides a low friction surface in articulation with cartilage. The animals were evaluated clinically for pain and lameness, with gait analysis, radiography, and grading of the gross and histopathologic appearance of the cartilage surrounding the implant or chondroplasty site as well as the opposing tibia meniscus and cartilage. Animals were sacrificed at 3 (5 animals), 6 (8 animals) and 12 (11 animals) months postoperative. One animal was terminated early (chondroplasty) at 5 weeks postoperative.

Results

Pain and lameness assessments demonstrated an expected return to normal behavior with time. Gait analysis demonstrated that the operative limb treated with the pyrolytic carbon implants had greater early loading compared to chondroplasty. Radiographically, PIR implants were stable with bone apposition and no change in position over time. The chondroplasty sites exhibited degeneration of the joint space over time. Grossly, PIR implants were well fixed within the condyle with the articular surface border continuous with surrounding cartilage with no evidence of wear or fracture. The PIR implant mean scores for the medial femoral cartilage, meniscus and tibia cartilage reflected minimal tissue changes that occurred after the implant surgery and were similar to chondroplasty. Some changes were observed in the sham operated knee grossly and histologically.

Discussion and Conclusion

The results of the present study are consistent with previous studies that reported less damage to opposing cartilage due to the presence of PIR implants compared to identical Co-Cr alloy implants. Treatment of chondral defects with a pyrolytic carbon resurfacing implant in a large animal model successfully demonstrated a return to normal joint function, acceptable fixation, and safe clinical outcomes compared to chondroplasty control.

FOR Receives Two New Patents

The Fellowship of Orthopaedic Researchers, whose mission is to find new and innovative methods to improve functionality of patients with ailments of the musculoskeletal system, proudly announces it has recently received two additional U.S. Patents. On June 6, 2017, U.S. Patent 9,668,865 B2 titled Trochlear Implants and Methods of Use was issued, which adds to the nine other issued U.S. Patents for the Moirai Orthopaedics PIR System for the treatment of chondral defects of the knee.

The second U.S. Patent 9,707,105 B2 titled Magnetic Prosthetic Implants and Methods Thereof, was issued on July 18, 2017, and relates to the Fellowship’s ongoing program of developing an advanced magnetically levitated prosthesis for high activity amputees such as
those resulting from military service. As evidenced by the issuance of these patents, Fellowship’s staff continues to work diligently and conduct translational research in the effort to cure, treat, and prevent orthopaedic diseases and injuries.

For more information on these patents, please visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website at http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/PTO/srchnum.htm.

New Keyence VHX-6000 3D-Microscope at FOR

The Keyence VHX-6000 is a state of the art microscope ideal for replacing our traditional stereomicroscope used for device examination. Digital microscopes provide more information and are easier-to-use when compared to conventional imaging and measurement systems, which allows users to perform imaging and analysis in less time.

In real time we can obtain multi-depth images of a 3-dimensional object with all focal planes in focus simultaneously and instantly.

Advanced multi-lighting functions allows users to see surface features that were difficult to see using a standard stereomicroscope. Surface features can be viewed and measured in 3-D and profilometry performed. In addition, the VHX-6000 provides inspection and analysis features, including ISO contamination measurement and ASTM-compliant grain analysis.

Imaging advancements such as lighting ring removal, high dynamic range and high definition imaging, high speed navigation, image stitching in 2D and 3D enable extremely fast analysis and documentation. Because the Keyence VHX-6000 3D-microscope is essentially a light microscope, non-destructive imaging of large objects can easily be performed, obtaining information that would be difficult or impossible with the SEM.

Real Time Depth Composition (images by Keyence):

Images from the Keyence-VHX-6000 microscope
Normal view vs. Depth composition

Ring removal (images by Keyence):

Enhanced image from a Keyence microscope
Normal view vs. Ring removed

Use of High Resolution HDR (images by Keyence):

Normal view vs. HDR resolution from Keyence microscope
Normal view vs. use of HDR