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News & Trends - Medical Technology

World first thoracic implant delivered by local innovation

Health Industry Hub | November 17, 2021 |
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MedTech News: Innovative medical device manufacturer Anatomics announces the world first use of revolutionary StarPore polymer tissue scaffold for thoracic reconstructive surgery in Australia, USA, UK, Singapore, Portugal and New Zealand.

More than 20 patients from across the globe are living with a new ribcage made from a revolutionary material developed by Australian company, Anatomics.

StarPore is a strong, flexible and porous material that allows the body’s cells and tissues to grow into it unlike traditional, impermeable, implant materials.

Anatomics founder Professor Paul D’Urso said “Custom ribcage reconstruction was a world-first application of the material, which has now revolutionised the way these surgeries are performed to replace and repair people’s ribcages that are damaged by trauma, tumours or infection.”

Previously surgeons used bone cement and wires to reconstruct the ribcage whilst the patient was on the operating table.

“StarPore is unique because it becomes ‘alive’ within weeks, as the patient’s own cells grow into the strong, flexible porous scaffold. StarPore is also invisible on x-rays and scans, so that doctors can easily monitor the patient after surgery,” Professor D’Urso said.

Dr Michael Harden, cardiothoracic Surgeon, Royal North Shore Hospital Australia, recently reported that “the StarPore implant allowed our patient to do things we take for granted whether it’s driving a car, bending over to pick something up, just taking a deep breath.”

Dr Ahneez Ahmed, Chief Thoracic Surgeon, Tan Tock Seng Hospital Singapore, reported after implanting the first two StarPore ribcages that they “will last for a patient’s life span whilst keeping the same shape, with natural tissue holding it in place. The material provides a scaffold for human tissue to grab onto and grow into, due to biological trabecular porosity similar to that found in the body.”

Prof Shanda Blackmon, Thoracic Surgeon, Mayo Clinic USA, summarises, “the advantages of the StarPore include flexibility, rigid fixation, ability to enfold ribs, customized 3D design, ability to easily drill holes for artificial ligament attachment, intraoperative customizable scalpel-shaping, ability to soak in antibiotic solution, and potential for revascularization.”

Professor D’Urso said that “Anatomics StarPore has become a standard of care for thoracic reconstruction that will create a platform for innovation in cardiopulmonary research and development. In the future StarPore ribcages may be able to contain advanced electronic monitoring, therapies and telecommunication capabilities.”

Anatomics is the pioneer of ribcage reconstruction – having created the world’s first 3D-printed ribcage for a Spanish patient in 2014. The company has since perfected the technology leading to the first StarPore ribcage in being implanted in May 2019 in Singapore. The StarPore ribcages have been successfully implanted in 24 patients in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Singapore, Portugal and the UK.


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