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External fixator with controlled realignment and prolongation

The development of external fixator with possibility of computer controlled bone lengthening or realignment in dependency on bone adhesion area tension

In general, the project is dealing with distractions, compressions or corrections of deformities of the human skeleton. In majority of the cases this is done by external fixator devices of various types made by various manufacturers. These types can be divided into several groups: one level fixator devices - primarily tubes or rods, which are using various methods to affix more bone screws on one level, which is widely used in the femur, tibia and humerus. This group is represented by Orthofix, which is probably the most widely used external fixator device in Europe, our UNI-FIX (ProSpon), Medium External Fixator - Synthes and similar devices. Furthermore there are spatial fixators - which are predominantly represented by the frames, rods and rings to which a greater number of fixation screws or K-wires are affixed, the most well-known of these are the fixators of the "Hofmann" or "Ilizarov" type, which are produced by many manufacturers, which also include our PH-FIX (ProSpon), the Striker fixators, etc. Another group is composed of the so-called hybrid fixators, which use both types indicated above for the fixation of bone fragments and which benefit from the advantages of both types of systems described above. To perform distractions or compressions, the world currently uses external fixators which are predominantly controlled by mechanical methods of extending or repositioning of bone fragments. Electrical or electromechanical actuators of the extension elements are used only exceptionally. However this is done only occasionally, as none of the important global manufacturers of external fixators (Synthes, Kendall, Johnson & Johnson, Striker, and Howmedica) use this method. Materials which are used to manufacture fixators range from the standard CrMo steel, through titan, duralumin, all the way to carbon composites. The objective of our project is to develop a system of fixators with the computer controlled distraction-compression elements, which automatically react to the changing load of the corrected fracture, so they could maximize the regenerating ability of the healing bone (which varies from patient to patient) and which would at the same time prevent the power surges which lead to deformations, inflammations and other complications which significantly prolong the duration of the treatment. The system will be based on the sensors of tension incorporated into the external fixator, whose signal will be transferred to PC, which will use controlling software to evaluate the data and which will automatically adjust the distraction or compression of individual distraction-compression elements. The result of our project can be used for all the fixators mentioned above; therefore the different practices used in individual countries which use various types of fixators will be preserved. The sponsor of the project – ProSpon, is a long-standing manufacturer of fixators of all types and in the Czech market it occupies one of the main positions in the supply of external fixators for traumatology and orthopedics. The Russian partner is focusing on the development of software and transmission of the data from the mechanically stressed parts and the linkage of these experiences will bring both sides to the forefront in the application of external fixators. The project is designed to allow a maximum shortening of the time the external fixator is deployed on the patient and thereby to streamline both the use of such apparatus for terminal workstations in the hospitals, as well as to accelerate the healing time and thereby save time required for treatment and of course, to avoid or to at least reduce the patient's potential postoperative complications. This system is designed so that the external fixator respectively. PC will automatically regulate the distraction (or compression) of the fractured fragments depending on the tension transmitted to the bone-device system, thus allowing it to utilize the maximum speed of distraction with no risk of disrupting the healing of the fractured site. This revolutionary solution is in the interests of all participants – patients, hospitals and health insurance companies. There is no need to discuss the economic benefits and the system is ethical for the patient as well.
Acronym: 
FIXAPRO
Project ID: 
11 165
Start date: 
01-01-2017
Project Duration: 
36months
Project costs: 
1 030 000.00€
Technological Area: 
OTHER INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGIES
Market Area: 

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