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Thru-Fuze

University of New South Wales

Date Funded:
  • 28 August, 2015

Project summary

A new orthopaedic device for the treatment of spinal disorders.

What is the issue?

The Thru-Fuze™ device helps alleviate chronic back pain, such as that caused by degenerative disc disease. During spinal fusion surgery, the device is fixed between transverse processes of adjacent vertebrae to hold them in place and thus stabilise the spine and alleviate pain. The geometry of the device encourages bone growth through the device providing rapid biomechanical fixation. Over time, the device then acts as a bridge between the adjacent vertebrae for additional bone to grow across thus fusing the adjacent vertebrae together, bone to bone.

Comparable devices include pedicle screw and rod systems with bone graft material. These systems are costly and difficult and time consuming to implant. They also have relatively low rates of fusion success. The Thru-Fuze™ device is simpler, cheaper, and allows faster surgery with less, or no, radiation exposure, and a faster biomechanical fusion.

What does the technology aim to do?

Thru-Fuze Orthopaedics Pty Ltd is an early stage NSW Biotech company formed to bring this development from UNSW Australia to benefit the people of NSW, Australia and the world.

Thru Fuze has received seed funding (AUD$2.3 million + IP costs) from Intellectual Ventures, this has provided Professor Walsh and UNSW Australia assistance in the research and development phase of this project and in protecting the related intellectual property.

Thru Fuze will use the support provided by the NSW Medical Devices Fund to more forward with clinical trials.

The Thru-Fuze™ device is a new orthopaedic device for the treatment of spinal disorders. The device is positioned between the transverse processes of adjacent vertebrae and facilitates rapid fusion of bone both on and through the device.

The Thru-Fuze™ device was conceived and invented at UNSW Australia by Professor Bill Walsh and Dr Matt Pelletier. Initial funding provided by Intellectual Ventures ($2.3 million) allowed a team of global industrial experts (Dr Andy Carter and Orchid Design (USA)) to assist in product development. The NSW Medical Devices Fund grant will allow this work to be taken into the clinical arena and assist this Australian innovation to realise its global healthcare potential.

Company contact

Professor W.R. Walsh, Surgical & Orthopaedic Research Laboratories, Prince of Wales Clinical School, Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick NSW 2013

w.walsh@unsw.edu.au

www.powcs.med.unsw.edu.au/research/groups/surgical-and-orthopaedicresearch-laboratory

Milestones