Every year more than 500.000 people in the US undergo spinal fusion surgery. A large part of the patient population suffers from failed surgeries due to non-unions. Spinal fusion surgeries are the number one cost driver in US operating rooms. When they fail the cost for the individual is severe chronic pain and often permanent nerve damage.
We’re incorporating a wireless electrical stimulation system into standard-of-care spinal cages and procedures. By electrically stimulating bone tissue we upregulate the growth of bone, obtaining a much faster fusion and decreasing the risk of non-unions substantially. By manipulating the electric field of our device, we can target stimulation very precisely around the fusion site. Lastly, we can monitor bone growth in-real-time taking electrical measurements around the spinal cage and provide useful health monitoring data to the healthcare provider.
My stepmother had her first spinal fusion surgery 20 years ago. She underwent 6 spine surgeries and fused in four different levels. Unfortunately, she suffered from non-unions and bone-overgrowth problems that lead to permanent nerve damages. She´s not able to work or live a normal life today and lives in constant pain. Her story and story’s like hers is all too common and we hope to help change this.
Thanks to JLABS we have been able to cut down development and prototyping time and get our implants into trials months ahead of time. JLABS has provided us with working space and equipment; everything from top of the line 3D printers, to a world class soldering station, and an amazing lab space. More importantly, however, the JLABS organization has provided access to Johnson & Johnson mentors and support from the staff at JLABS @ TMC. The support that we’ve received from the people has been essential and at the same time heartwarming.
Meet the team:
John Zellmer (Co-Founder & CEO)