Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


Researcher seeking to dissolve the cost of secondary surgery

Canterbury researcher seeking to dissolve the cost of secondary surgery

June 8, 2014

A University of Canterbury researcher is investigating the potential benefits of using degradable metallic alloy plates and screws for patients with serious head injuries.

Mechanical engineering’s Dr Mark Staiger believes that in the not-so-distant future magnesium metal plates or screws that break down safely within the body will be useful in treating bone fractures.

The costs of treating people with severe head or facial injuries are high while the current solutions are not ideal, Dr Staiger says. Degradable plates or screws would substantially improve surgical management of head or facial fractures and would lower patient management costs.

``During its lifetime, an implant that is intended to temporarily assist the healing of a bone will transition from an implant to a foreign body, once the body has healed itself. A major driver of this research is the cost-effective removal of this foreign body by having it biodegrade after having completed its role in bone healing,’’ Dr Staiger says.

``Along with collaborators from Otago University, we are developing degradable magnesium plates and screws that will improve hospital costs and patient outcomes, representing a paradigm shift in the current technology. This new approach will deliver reduced patient recovery time by enhancing new bone formation and reduce cost by eliminating the need for secondary surgery to remove implants.

``Based on the number of plates used annually at Dunedin hospital and the cost of maxillofacial surgery, plate removal alone is estimated to cost the New Zealand health system $12 million a year alone, while world-wide the total costs are staggering.

``This research will attempt to eliminate current problems with permanent devices including growth restriction, bone resorption due to stress shielding and infection. Titanium implants are the current gold standard to obtain rigid fixation in damaged bone, partially based on the belief that titanium resists corrosion in the body.

``Rigid titanium-based plates or screws have gained widespread acceptance in correcting head deformities and in the management of fractures in the last two decades. However, 50 percent of all titanium plate systems require removal. A temporary biodegradable implant would eliminate the need for surgical removal of the implant. Our previous work on the breaking down of magnesium alloys has shown their potential as a new degradable implant material.

``We are looking to establish close partnerships with device manufacturers that will support the longer term development of degradable devices with the aim of creating new opportunities for the New Zealand biomedical industry,” Dr Staiger says.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Budget Building Battle: Bill English Blames Council On Housing

The Nation: Finance Minister blames Auckland Council for housing shortage, saying it is responsible for land, housing and infrastructure supply in the city, while government provides rental subsidies... More>>

ALSO:

Megiaglommeration: NZME And Fairfax Apply For Authorisation To Merge

The Commerce Commission has received an application from Wilson and Horton Limited (trading as NZME) and Fairfax NZ Limited seeking authorisation to merge their media operations in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Brewing: Lion To Buy Cult Upper Hutt Brewer Panhead

Lion - Beer, Spirits and Wine (NZ), New Zealand's biggest beer maker, has agreed to buy Panhead Custom Ales from the family of founder Mike Neilson, its second such purchase of a popular craft brewer after the acquisition of Dunedin-based Emerson's Brewing Co in 2012. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news