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SBIR Phase I: Mimicking Metatarsophalangeal Joints Using Tailored Ultra-Dissipative Liquid-Crystalline Elastomers to Treat Hallux Rigidus
Phone: (202) 255-2238
Phone: (202) 255-2238
The broader impact/commercial potential of this Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project is to treat arthritis in joints. This project will advance the use of special materials for joint repair, which permit devices to mimic the naturally soft tissues of the body and provide anatomically correct support. These materials also offer the advantages of minimally invasive surgery, development of patient-specific devices. It will offer the ability to arthritis in joints in the foot, hand, knee (e.g. total knee replacement), spine (e.g. total disc replacement), and repair of any load-bearing orthopedic tissue, such as meniscus. The proposed project focuses on advancing the translation of Liquid-Crystalline Elastomers (LCE) as a cartilage replacement device for the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint to treat hallux rigidus. Hallux rigidus is a joint disorder at the base of the big toe. This project will be the first to investigate LCEs for orthopedic applications and develop an MTP joint repair using LCEs. LCEs have vastly superior energy dissipation properties relative to traditional elastomers, such as silicone or hydrogels. This project will demonstrate LCEs for treatment of degenerated joints by drawing from the disciplines of liquid-crystal elastomer science, viscoelasticity, and bioengineering. LCEs are known for behavior that is similar to biological tissues. This proposed project will accomplish: 1) synthesizing an LCE to mimic mechanical properties of natural joint to minimize wear rate under simulated physiological conditions; and 2) validation of biomechanical performance and biocompatibility of LCEs in comparison to the state of practice. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *