Tech Launch Arizona, the university office that commercializes innovations stemming from research, worked with the team to file patents for its two inventions and license the intellectual property to a startup – Ancerix – formed to bring the inventions to the marketplace. Associate professor of biomedical engineering Daniel Latt helped lead the student team.
The technology forms the foundation for a set of medical instruments to tackle three common challenges in orthopedic hardware removal: screw heads that are inaccessible due to bone overgrowth; screws that spin freely and have lost purchase due to infection or poor bone quality; and pieces of a broken rod that are irretrievable because they lack attachment points.
In response to these challenges, Latt's team has engineered extraction devices that, upon approval by the Food and Drug Administration, will compose a comprehensive toolkit.
"I've always believed in addressing the real-world challenges we face in the operating room," Latt said. "These tools, stemming from our rigorous research at the University of Arizona, aim to offer practical solutions to specific issues we frequently encounter. It's about refining our approaches and ensuring we have the right tools at our disposal. Ancerix's toolkit, built upon our patented inventions, represents this very ethos."