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CMCC 1418

Bioenhanced Repair of ACL Injuries

Inventors: Martha Murray

Invention Types: Therapeutics

Research Areas: Surgery/Wound Healing, Orthopedics

Keywords: Surgery

For More Information Contact:  Khunkhun, Rajinder


Invention Description:

ACL tears account for 550,000 patients each year. Repairing the ACL with sutures alone has a failure rate of over 90 percent. Therefore, the current gold standard of treatment is to replace the ACL with a graft of tendon taken from elsewhere in the knee or from a cadaver. However, recent studies at the Boston Children's Hospital have discovered why the failure rate for repairing the ACL was so high, and have come up with a novel strategy to overcome that problem.

In ligaments which heal successfully, such as the MCL, bleeding from the torn ends of the ligament forms a blood clot between the two torn ends. That clot serves as a scaffold for surrounding cells to invade and remodel, successfully healing the ligament. The ACL lives in the fluid environment of the knee, and although it bleeds when torn, the blood clot is washed away from the injury site, so there is no connection between the torn ends, and no place for the wound healing process to occur.

The team at Boston Children's Hospital has found a substitute scaffold which can hold the blood clot in place between the two torn ends of the anterior cruciate ligament and provide a protected space for wound healing to occur for the ACL. The procedure is far less invasive than the current techniques of ACL reconstruction, with no required graft harvest or large tunnels to be drilled in the bones.

Surgical Technique:

• Suture attached to the femur at the ACL attachment site there

• ECM Scaffold threaded onto suture

• Suture passed thru tibial tunnel and tied over the tibial cortex

• Scaffold saturated with biologically active component |

Using these tools and procedure in preclinical studies, this technology has demonstrated healing ligaments with similar strengths to ligaments replaced with tendon graft, and the knees which had the ACL repaired had less osteoarthritis than those that were reconstructed at one year after surgery. The scaffold is a unique sponge made of natural proteins that can be combined with the patient's own platelets at the time of surgery.

Issued Patents US 6,964,685; 7,838,630


Device, biologic component and procedure to repair ACL tears

Competitive Advantages:

• ACL graft failure rates are reported to be as high as 20% in the first 2 years after surgery for teenagers. In addition, 76% of patients develop osteoarthritis at 14 years after surgery.

• 500,000 fewer people would get knee osteoarthritis every year.

• This technology provides a solution for skeletally immature patients with ACL injuries.

• This same technology could also be used to improve function for patients with:

• Rotator cuff injuries

• Meniscal tears

• Post-traumatic osteoarthritis

• This could represent a complete paradigm shift in orthopedics from removal and replacement to repair and regeneration.

Business Opportunity:

Exclusive License or Sponsored Research Opportunity

Key Publications: 62 peer-reviewed publications on this technology; available upon request

IPStatus: Pat. Pend.