Project: Personalized implants to treat cartilage damage in the knee

About 10% of the world’s population are affected by osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease of the joints that involves degradation of articular cartilage. Osteoarthritis is the most common disorder of the joints and the principal cause of disability among the elderly in Europe. The primary cause of the disease is wear and tear of the load bearing joints; secondary causes can be mechanical stress, misalignments of the bones, injury, overweight and loss of strength of joint-supporting muscles. Symptoms include swelling of the joint, chronic pain and stiffness. The disease makes it difficult for individuals to be physically active and many become home bound and lose their independence. While treatments can slow the progression of this chronic condition, there is no cure available. _x000D__x000D_Usually, osteoarthritis develops from a locally confined damage of the cartilage. Over time breakdown of the cartilage spreads and affects the whole joint, eventually leading to a complete loss of the lubricating layer. One joint particular prone to osteoarthritis is the knee. Here the articulate cartilage covers a convex region called condyle and a concave region called trochlear groove. _x000D__x000D_The aim of this project is to develop an implant for the trochlear groove of the knee. Approximately 50% of all osteoarthritis cases in the knee originate from this region. The purpose of the implant is to replace and seal the damaged area before the injury advances into severe osteoarthritis. However, the knee is a complicated joint that looks different in every person, which makes it impossible to use one-size-fits-all approaches. Damage to the cartilage in the trochlear groove is particular difficult to treat, due to the complicated shape of this joint region, and the fact that the trochlear groove is covered by the patella. The proposed treatment is thus based on patient-specific personalization of the implant and of an insertion guide, to ensure a high accuracy of the surgical procedure and a perfect fit. Only by doing so will it be possible to restore full mobility of the joint and stop the advancement of osteoarthritis. Patients will be relived from their pain and be able to resume their daily activities, which will also reduce the socio-economic burden that arises from sick leave due to osteoarthritis. To sum it up, the proposed project will result in a surgical treatment that provides the following benefits:_x000D__x000D_1. Restoration of a smooth, continuous articular surface_x000D_2. Sealing of the damaged area to halt the progression of osteoarthritis_x000D_3. Return to normal activity with fast recovery time_x000D_4. Permanent relief from pain and swelling_x000D_5. Simple and reproducible outpatient surgical procedure_x000D__x000D_Starting point for this project is an existing prototype that was developed for the condyle of the knee. The now-proposed prototype requires a new design to match the concave shape of the trochlear groove. In addition, the surgical guide requires modifications to provide a safe insertion of the implant despite the hindering presence of the patella. If successful, Episurf will be the first company in the world to offer a highly personalized solution that can stop the advancement of osteoarthritis in the knee. In order to reach this goal the consortium combines expertise from surgeons, medical engineers and process developers._x000D__x000D_Consortium:_x000D_1. Episurf Medical AB - a Swedish SME specialized in design, development and commercialization of patient-specific implant solutions for the treatment of cartilage damage, hereinafter referred to as Episurf. Episurf has its core competency in orthopaedics and process development. The company is the coordinator of the consortium and will be responsible for prototype design, testing, IP protection, regulatory preparation, quality assurance, commercialization efforts and project management._x000D__x000D_2. Elos Medtech Pinol A/S - a Danish SME and co-applicant for the proposed project, hereinafter referred to as Elos. Elos and Episurf have previously collaborated during the development of the first prototype. Elos will contribute to this project with its expertise on medical technology products from dental and orthopaedic applications and will be responsible for the manufacturing of the implant prototypes and the drill. _x000D__x000D_3. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the largest European university hospital with high reputation in medical research, hereinafter referred to as Charité. The institution will contribute with its expertise in orthopaedic research, histology and pre-clinical animal studies. In later phases it will also serve is hub into clinical translation._x000D_

Acronym PIK (Reference Number: 7914)
Duration 01/03/2013 - 31/07/2015
Project Topic The knee is particular prone for damages to the articular cartilage. The idea is to replace and seal damaged cartilage before it can advance into severe osteoarthritis. A novel treatment will restore full mobility of the joint and save the individual years of pain.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 9

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
3 Episurf Medical AB Coordinator Sweden
3 Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Julius Wolff Institut Partner Germany
3 Elos Medtech Pinol A/S Partner Denmark