June 11, 2012 --The Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation has selected Boston University Drs. Robert Gyurko and Serge Dibart’s idea for a novel piezoelectric knife design and implant to accommodate narrow ridges as one of two research projects to support this year. This is the first time the Center, which collaborates with BU, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Children’s Hospital Boston, chose a research project from the Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine (GSDM).
The BU–Fraunhofer Alliance for Medical Devices, Instrumentation and Diagnostics expedites the time necessary for new technologies to get from research to patient use. The Center employs full-time engineers and applied scientists who turn design concepts into medical instruments and devices. The finished designs attract venture funding, potential licensors, and government funding.
The GSDM team proposed a flat implant system, using flat piezoelectric knives (miniature bone saws vibrating at ultrasonic frequencies and sub-millimeter amplitudes) and flat titanium implants.
“This piezoelectric knife can create various shapes of non-round bone cuts, as opposed to current implant drills that only make cylindrical holes,” said Dr. Gyurko. “The flat profile implant would address the need of patients with narrow residual jawbone without compromising implant stability and longevity.”
In March 2012, Drs. Gyurko and Dibart responded to a Boston University Medical Campus request for proposals “with high potential clinical impact that are ready to move out of the basic research laboratory.” Gyurko and Dibart were invited to present a full proposal to The Alliance Advisory Board showing the medical need for and potential impact of the design. The group is now in talks about prototype development.