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Biomimetic spine fusion implants for back pain (BioFusion)

Abstract

According to the World Health Organization, back-pain was among the top ten diseases causing the greatest burden in 2019. It is estimated that 30 to 40% of these cases are attributed to intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration. Currently, there are no satisfactory treatments for IVD degeneration, if analgesics and physical therapy fail to control the pain, the discs are removed and replaced with prostheses or the spinal segments are fused using metal/polymer cages. Although these surgical options are effective in relieving patients' pain, they are not always successful and the metal/polymer materials will remain as foreign materials in the body. The goal of this proposal will be an innovative solution for spinal fusion using a porous 3D printed bioresorbable ceramic-based cage (BioFusion) that is osteoinductive, can release agents to counteract local inflammation and can be tuned to optimize its strength, resorption and release properties for the patient. The newly created implant will be tested in vitro and in an in vivo animal model to get us closer towards translation to the human clinics. In this manner, we will demonstrate the proof-of-concept for new treatment of IVD degeneration and help to improve the quality of life for millions suffering from back-pain. (AU)

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