A Medical Device Daily

BioMedical Enterprises (BME: San Antonio) reported that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) awarded it the patent for "System and Method for Force, Displacement and Rate Control of Shape Memory Material Implants." Covering 61 claims, patent number 7,240,677 provides protection for BME's OSSforce implant controller technology, the company said.

The issued patent provides BME market exclusivity for the control of memory materials used in medicine. The patent covers instruments, methods and thus implants formed of shape memory material where the shape change is controlled. This patent covers any form of heat energy source such as electrical resistive heating, conductive heating or inductive heating. This advanced technology for the use of shape memory materials, including nitinol, allows the surgeon for the first time to fully control a shape changing implant, according to BME.

BME's OSSforce implant controller is its first product using the features described and claimed in the patent. These features give surgeons control over BME's extensive line of bone fusion devices such as the OSStaple and OSSplate. These devices, formed from nitinol, have a pre-programmed shape. When implanted in one configuration the OSSforce controls the extent of return of the implant to a second configuration.

The musculoskeletal application of the OSSforce Implant Controller gives surgeons the ability to control the activation rate of the implant and the forces applied across the bone fusion interface, the company said. Implant forces can be decreased in osteoporosis cases to protect against iatrogenic fractures or can be increased in the healthy skeleton to provide maximum bone fixation. In the correction of deformities, the surgeon can change the shape of the implant to adjust for the growing adolescent. These variables are controlled while keeping the implant temperature below the point of thermal necrosis of tissue.

BME is a device company that focuses on minimally invasive orthopedic instrumentation and implants that elicit a biologic response.