MicroPort Orthopedics, a medical device company that develops and manufactures cutting edge joint replacement implants designed to help patients achieve full function faster, launched of the Evolution NitrX medial-pivot knee system.
The MicroPort Orthopedics medial-pivot knee system now stands on more than 20 years of clinically demonstrated success with its novel medial-pivot design built on the evidence of the natural stability and kinematic motion of the knee.
The Evolution NitrX medial-pivot knee features a titanium niobium nitride (TiNbN) coating that has been shown in simulated clinical testing to reduce the release of cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), molybdenum (Mb), and nickel (Ni) ions common in standard CoCr implants.1 The Evolution NitrX medial-pivot knee builds upon the same medial-pivot legacy of 95% patient satisfaction with 98.8% survivorship at 17 years.2
1 MicroPort Orthopedics Data on File.
2 George A. Macheras et al. “A long term clinical outcome of the Medial Pivot Knee Arthroplasty System.” The Knee Journal, Published: January 29, 2017.
During the past few weeks there has been an abundance of announcements of investment in manufacturing equipment, facility expansions, support for the future generation of workers, and what’s driving medical design and manufacturing. A quick recap on industry happenings follows.
Expanded laser cutting capabilities for Ad-Vance Magnetics
Ad-Vance Magnetics has expanded its laser cutting capabilities with the addition of a new 4,000W Mazak STX 3015 laser cutter. Ad-Vance has been providing precision fabricated and machined components for 45 years. The new machine is added to the existing Mazak STX 36 which remains.
Ad-Vance also offers a wide range of secondary operations including deburring, grinding, spot welding, welding and assembly, among others.
Cognizant to acquire Zenith Technologies, strengthen Industry 4.0 offering
Cognizant will acquire Zenith Technologies, a life sciences manufacturing technology services company specializing in implementing digital technologies to manage, control, and optimize drug and medical device production for maximum operational efficiency and regulatory compliance.
The acquisition extends Cognizant's capabilities for designing, implementing, and managing end-to-end operational and information technology (IT) systems for connected biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. Interconnected smart factories have become a strategic priority for the industry, with production systems and processes becoming more complex.
The combined Cognizant-Zenith Technologies expertise will deliver a range of Industry 4.0 capabilities, from factory design consultation, machine sensor and controller instrumentation, supervisory control, and data acquisition, to manufacturing execution systems, batch automation, enterprise resource planning (ERP) integration, and managed services.
MiRus’ massive manufacturing expansion
Following the 510(k) clearance by FDA in March 2019 of MoRe, a proprietary molybdenum rhenium superalloy for medical implants, MiRus plans a major expansion of its manufacturing capacity – adding a fully operational 50,000ft2 orthopedic and spine manufacturing plant in Marietta, Georgia, adding to MiRus' current 20,000ft2 manufacturing facility.
"MoRe superalloy approval has been greeted with great interest by surgeons, hospitals and commercial distribution channels," states Jay Yadav, MD, founder and CEO of MiRus. "To address the exploding demand for our implants, as well as the inherent capacity and lead time issues in the current medical device market, we are dramatically expanding our manufacturing capacity in Atlanta."
Culver Tool & Engineering equipment investment
As part of a $3.7 million expansion project, Plymouth, Indiana-based Culver Tool and Engineering (CTE Solutions) will build a new facility and add 10 new jobs. A medical device company specializing in manufacturing spinal rods, CTE Solutions will invest $2.2 million to renovate and expand and $1.5 million to purchase and install machinery and equipment for the manufacturing of spinal rods, implant devices, and special instruments.
Ohio Manufacturing Workforce Partnership Awarded $12 Million
The U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Scaling Apprenticeship Through Sector-Based Strategies grant includes a $12 million award to Ohio's Lorain County Community College (LCCC), the lead applicant in collaboration with Ohio TechNet (OTN) and The Ohio Manufacturers' Association (OMA), collectively known as the Ohio Manufacturing Workforce Partnership (OMWP).
The funding will play a vital role in helping Ohio address the workforce shortage and skills gap affecting manufacturing, as manufacturers across the state have repeatedly cited workforce as their top issue of concern. With the grant funds, OMWP will upskill 5,000 Ohioans over the next four years through Industry Recognized Apprenticeship Programs (IRAP), an innovative earn-and-learn model recently authorized by the USDOL.
The stated goals of the USDOL's initiative are to: (a) accelerate the expansion of apprenticeships to new industry sectors reliant on H-1B visas; (b) promote the large-scale expansion of apprenticeships; and (c) increase apprenticeship opportunities for all Americans.
National Fluid Power Association awards 12 scholarships
The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation has awarded $2,000 scholarships to 12 students pursuing fluid power technology fields of study.
A minimum GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0, 500-word essay, and two letters of recommendation were required from each applicant. The Foundation’s goal is to help individuals enrolled in high schools, technical colleges, and universities pursue their interests in fluid power.
The following students were each selected to receive a $2,000 scholarship:
- Maximus Addington, University of Denver, Denver, Colorado
- Trevor Burke, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas
- Rebekah Clark, Spokane Community College, Spokane, Washington
- Wyatt Hoehn, Ivy Tech Community College, Sellersburg, Indiana
- William Horning, SUNY Cobleskill, Cobleskill, New York
- Krystal Horton, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado (Raymond F. Hanley Memorial Award)
- Nolan Jones, Spokane Community College, Spokane, Washington
- Kristen Postiglione, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey
- Cole Rickerson, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
- Cole Stephan, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
- Ilaisaane Summers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts
- Brett Watson, Spokane Community College, Spokane, Washington (Robert Mackey Memorial Award)
S.S. White Technologies, the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of flexible shafts, announces a custom S.S. White flexible shaft that drives a new Medtronic device for Endovascular Aneurysm Repair (EVAR). Central to the innovative Heli-FX EndoAnchor System, the S.S. White shaft maneuvers and installs a staple to secure endografts in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) and Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm (TAA) cases.
Flexible shafts transmit rotary motion much like a solid shaft, but can be curved over, under, and around areas in ways a solid shaft cannot. This allows the minimally invasive Medtronic applicator system to position the proximal and distal ends of an implant (an anchor) within a blood vessel and to deploy the spiral anchor into the vascular wall.
S.S. White designs flexible shaft solutions for specific applications with expertise and experience.
“S.S. White is an industry leader in understanding the customer requirement, and then translating that into the actual construction of the shaft,” says Mohan Krishnan, PhD, senior engineering director, Supply Management at Medtronic Cardiac and Vascular Group. The Heli-FX EndoAnchor System shaft design includes laser-welded fittings for a reduced diameter.
Flexible shafts are commonly used in surgical applications, especially in surgical power tools and tools used in minimally invasive procedures. In addition to AAA and TAA endograft anchoring, S.S. White provides highly flexible shafts for hand held screw drivers, heart valve repair, laparoscopic and endoscopic surgical equipment, and robotic assisted surgery technology such as the Da Vinci surgical system, as well as for other medical applications.
New wearable technology made from stretchy, lightweight material could make heart health monitoring easier and more accurate than existing electrocardiograph machines – a technology that has changed little in almost a century. Developed by engineers at The University of Texas at Austin and led by Nanshu Lu in the Cockrell School of Engineering, this is the latest incarnation of Lu's electronic tattoo technology, a graphene-based wearable device that can be placed on the skin to measure a variety of body responses, from electrical to biomechanical signals.
The device is so lightweight and stretchable that it can be placed over the heart for extended periods with little or no discomfort. It also measures cardiac health in two ways, taking electrocardiograph and seismocardiograph readings simultaneously. Most of us are familiar with the electrocardiogram (ECG), a method that records the rates of electrical activity produced each time the heart beats. Seismocardiography (SCG) is a measurement technique using chest vibrations associated with heartbeats. Powered remotely by a smartphone, the e-tattoo is the first ultrathin and stretchable technology to measure both ECG and SCG.
"We can get much greater insight into heart health by the synchronous collection of data from both sources," says Lu, an associate professor in the departments of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and Biomedical Engineering.
ECG readings alone are not accurate enough for determining heart health, but they provide additional information when combined with SCG signal recordings. Like a form of quality control, the SCG indicates the accuracy of the ECG readings.
Although soft e-tattoos for ECG sensing are not new, other sensors, such as the SCG sensor, are still made from nonstretchable materials, making them bulky and uncomfortable to wear. Lu and her team's e-tattoo is made of a piezoelectric polymer called polyvinylidene fluoride, capable of generating its own electric charge in response to mechanical stress. The device also includes 3D digital image correlation technology that is used to map chest vibrations in order to identify the best location on the chest to place the e-tattoo.
The e-tattoo has another advantage over traditional methods. Usually an ECG measurement requires going into a doctor's office, where heart health can be monitored only for a couple of minutes at a time. This device can be worn for days, providing constant heart monitoring.
Lu and her team are already working on improvements to data collection and storage for the device, as well as ways to power the e-tattoo wirelessly for longer periods. They recently developed a smartphone app that not only stores the data safely but can also show a heart beating on the screen in real time.