Each year, of the hundreds of exhibitors slated to be at the annual American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons meeting, I select a few you may not know—for the very reason that there are hundreds and hundreds of you there, and you might not see all of the new faces. After everyone has gone to look at the robots, here are some other folks to meet.
Two companies are joining the augmented reality space this time: Pixee Medical and Taiwan Main Orthopaedics, both showing surgical navigation eyewear. In a similar vein, FundamentalVR will be showing its “flight simulators for surgery.”
Two names in orthobiologics have been around for a while, but this is their first showing at AAOS: Artoss (established 2003) and Synergy Biomedical (2011). Synergy launched a minimally invasive delivery system for its BioSphere bone graft putty in the U.S. late last year and gained FDA clearance for a strip format, while Artoss Inc. was established in the U.S. just three years ago to market NanoBone bone graft for its German partner, Artoss GmbH.
One first-time supplier to call out: Honeywell, a diversified company you may not think of at AAOS.
Artoss | Booth #6647 | Rostock, Germany and St. Cloud, Minnesota, U.S.
- Markets NanoBone bone graft substitute, non-sintered nanocrystalline osteoconductive hydroxylapatite embedded in a porous silica gel matrix
- Standalone product, does not require the addition of autograft, blood or bone marrow aspirate
- Two formats FDA 510(k)-cleared to market: granulate and putty
- Members of management were part of the senior executive team that guided ApaTech, building sales of the Actifuse Synthetic Bone Graft line from inception to its subsequent sale to Baxter International in 2010
- $1MM in 2018 funding will support development of additional NanoBone products for the U.S. market, regulatory requirements and commercialization
b-ONE Ortho | Booth #6643 | Cedar Knolls, New Jersey, U.S.
- Company's first total hip and total knee systems were FDA 510(k) cleared in 2018
- $20.0MM funding will support portfolio growth and expansion into ex-U.S. markets
- Management has mix of experience at Arthrex, Biomet, ConforMIS, DePuy Orthopaedics, Kanghui, OrthoPediatrics, Stryker, Trauson, Triangle, Zimmer, (Chief Scientific Officer designed Stryker’s Triathlon total knee)
FundamentalVR | Booth #6749 | London, U.K.
- Developer of Fundamental Surgery software platform allows the surgeon to rehearse, practice and test procedures in a safe, controllable space
- Hardware combines with haptics in a system that can be used on any PC or laptop to deliver a “feel real” experience
- Minimal investment (hardware investment of as little as $6,000, plus ongoing license fee)
- User performance is assessed and measured, with real-time feedback on instrument use, procedural accuracy and patient impact
- Custom simulations can be tailored for device companies and providers to deliver specific knowledge transfer and procedural learning
- Launched first procedure modules including spinal pedicle screw, total knee and total hip arthroplasty (including posterior); plans to launch a core seven orthopedic “experiences”
- A strategic alliance with the Mayo Clinic will support co-development of VR simulation and education as products
IntraVu Medical | Booth #6854 | Redwood City, California, U.S.
- Developer of MIDASVu (FDA 510(k)-cleared in 2018 as the MIDAScope) is indicated for diagnostic and operative arthroscopic and endoscopic procedures to provide illumination and visualization of interior joint cavities
- Comprises a miniaturized, sterile, single-use disposable scope that connects to the reusable MIDASystem, an integrated LCD display and software that displays images
- Obviates the need for additional MRI to assess the healing process; can be done via in-office needle stick
Operativ | Booth #6352 | Kirkland, Washington, U.S.
- Offers MIS knee replacement instrumentation systems for outpatient surgery centers
- Developer of the iKnee Universal Instrument System and iKnee Surgical Technique
- Can reduce up to 3 trays required in the OR
- Instruments work with any implant system to make distal femur and proximal tibia cuts and help standardize procedures
- Designed to support minimally invasive approaches; also navigation friendly
Pixee Medical | Booth #6657 | Chavanod, Rhône-Alpes, France
- Markets disposable knee and shoulder augmented reality navigation systems
- Navigation software installed in smart glasses combines with reduced-size MIS instrumentation equipped with markers that can be sterilized in an autoclave
- Glasses eliminate line-of-sight issues and additional equipment in the O.R.
- No need for a percutaneous bone-oriented approach or the acquisition of anatomical landmarks with a probe
- Sizing and ligament balance integrate into the system, with no pre-op imaging
- Pursuing CE Mark approval and FDA 510(k) clearance; seeks to market products within 2019
- Company established in 2017, received a French Tech grant in 2018
- Founder’s industry experience includes roles at EOS imaging, Maetta, oneFIT Medical, ORTHOsoft, Sulzer Orthopedic, Zimmer
Synergy Biomedical | Booth #6356 | Collegeville, Pennsylvania, U.S.
- Developer of BioSphere bone graft and minimally invasive delivery system
- Spherical BioSphere particles and a resorbable, phospholipid carrier create a bioactive putty with reportedly the highest bioactive glass content on the market
- This high content provides complete filling of a bone defect with particles that can optimally contact the defect edges, promoting fast healing
- Typical 45S5 bioactive glass comprises irregular particles with a broad size range; spherical particles with a small and large spheres have been shown to increase the bone formation properties of 45S5
- Product is FDA 510(k)-cleared and CE Marked; BioSphere FLEX strip format launched in late 2018
Taiwan Main Orthopaedics | Booth #6750 | Taichung City, Taiwan, China
- Smart surgical glasses featuring “mixed reality” technology with surgical navigation, allowing the surgeon to “see through the skin” and focus on the operational field, rather than looking at computer screens and monitors
- Rapid set-up, supports minimally invasive procedures, reduces procedure length and radiation exposure
- System collects all procedural data for academic use
- Currently focused on orthopedics; spine and arthroscopy to follow (technology has potential for broad application in the body)
- First-generation FORESEE-X is approved under the CE Mark and FDA 510(k)
- Second-gen CADUCEUS is in the regulatory process
Tiss’You | Booth #6851 | Domagnano, San Marino
- R&D, manufacturing and sale of Class III biologics for musculoskeletal and soft tissue regeneration in orthopedic, spine and other surgical applications
- Developer of LipoCell technology to enhance the biological properties of adipose tissue
- Atraumatic processing of the tissue limits cell stress, thus not impairing their stimulating and anti-inflammatory characteristics
- The removal of blood and oil from adipose tissue limits the stress and inflammation of the tissue hosting the graft
- Also developed the Monocytes system to process blood to treat tendon and focal cartilage injuries
- Minimal manipulation yields an autologous final product with intact structure and functionality
Honeywell | Booth #6852 | Morris Plains, New Jersey, U.S.
- Designer of performance materials including ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)
- Developer of Honeywell Spectra® Medical Grade (MG) Fiber
- Product is manufactured through a patented gel spinning process that is reportedly the first of its kind
- Exhibits high resistance to chemicals and superior abrasion and internal fiber-friction characteristics
- Is 15 times stronger than steel; on a volume basis, three times stronger than polyester and four times stronger than titanium
Sources: company websites, press releases, interviews and information in the public domain
Julie A. Vetalice is ORTHOWORLD’s Editorial Assistant.