A biomedical engineering design team composed of undergraduate students from the University of Florida’s College of Engineering competed with 30 other universities in a design competition hosted by the American Society of Artificial Organs (ASAIO). After two rounds of competition, the UF COE team made it to the final 8 and was invited to present their project during the Open General Session of the ASAIO 59th Annual Conference in Chicago on June 13th, 2013. The project entitled “Metallic Biodegradable Orthopedic Implant” was the team’s senior IPPD (Integrated Product & Process Design) project coached by Biomedical Engineering faculty Dr. James Schumacher and sponsored by UF’s Integrated Technology Ventures program (ITV). The engineering team consisted of Brittany Jacobs (ME, future BME Ph.D. student), Michael McGrath (ME), Emily Hester (MSE, future BME M.S. student), Dani van der Merwe (MSE), Kollin Kerr (ME), and Felix Chan (CHE).
The goal of the sponsoring program, ITV, is to facilitate and jump-start the translation of a current UF technology from the bench to the bedside. The biodegradable metal,invented by Materials Science & Engineering faculty Dr. Michele Manuel, was used by the team to design, develop, and manufacture into its first product, an orthopedic bone screw. Current metallic bone screws either must remain in the patient causing pain and limited mobility or be removed during a secondary (typically more painful) surgery. The newly developed metallic biodegradable screw is designed to slowly degrade within the body as the bone heals eventually replacing the implant with newly formed bone. With the assistance of Biomedical Engineering faculty Dr. Kyle Allen and veterinary surgeons Dr. Stanley Kim and Dr. Antonio Pozzi from UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the student team was able to conduct and complete a preclinical study with the material to evaluate degradation and bone remodeling. The student team would like to specially thank the Director and course instructor of IPPD, Dr. Keith Stanfill, for his instruction, advisement, and guidance during the design and development process.
For more information on this technology please contact Dr. Lenny Terry of UF’s Office of Technology and Licensing (http://research.ufl.edu/otl/contact.html).