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New-generation biomaterials

Vivoxid develops, manufactures, and markets new-generation biomaterial products for medical use. Working with a number of universities, the company has established an extensive patent portfolio covering its three core technology platforms: BonAlive®, MetAlive®, and FiberLive®.

Vivoxid’s BonAlive® is a fully synthetic bioactive resorbable bone graft substitute that has been used very successfully in Europe in bone regeneration and reconstructive orthopaedic and cranio-maxillofacial (CMF) surgery for a number of years and has received 510K clearance in the US.

As an osteopromotive biomaterial, BonAlive® stimulates new bone formation and has the unique capacity to inhibit bacterial growth at grafting sites and encourage bone growth for several years after implantation. When BonAlive® is implanted into the body, a silica gel layer forms on its surface, onto which calcium phosphate precipitates, stimulating bone growth through a biochemically active process.

Making things easier for implants

Vivoxid’s MetAlive® soft tissue attachment technology is set to make the boundary between living and synthetic material disappear. Its titanium oxide-based sol-gel composition allows living tissue to recognise implant material as a truly integrated fellow tissue, resulting in firm soft tissue attachment, preventing the development of dense fibrous encapsulation, reducing inflammatory reactions, and speeding up the healing process.

Based on original work carried out by the University of Turku’s Biomaterials Research Project on osteoconductivity, Vivoxid has discovered that placing a nanoporotic TiO2-based gel on the surface of an implant enables proteins to be absorbed, allowing cells to attach to the surface. Thanks to the fact that MetAlive® can be applied to most medical devices – metal, ceramic, or polymer – it has the potential to be applicable in tens of indications.

Strength where it’s needed

The latest technology being developed by Vivoxid, with an expected market launch in 2012, is FiberLive®, for use in load-bearing biodegradable implants, such as resorbable screws, pins, and plates, where mechanical strength is particularly important. FiberLive® embraces a range of composite technologies for producing items ranging from resorbable fibrereinforced composites for trauma, spine, CMF, and sports medicine applications to resorbable textiles.

The mechanical properties and resorption rate of FiberLive® composites can be tailored for each application by changing the composition of the glass and the length of the fibre used, from chopped to continuous, in combination with a variety of commercial bioresorbable polymers.

The extensive range of properties offered by BonAlive® makes it ideal for bone reconstruction. BonAlive™ granules can be used in orthopaedic and cranio-maxillofacial bone reconstruction for filling the cavity left after removal of infected bone tissue or a benign tumour, for example, to provide a foundation for new bone to grow.

> Tomi Numminen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2009)