Nearly 2 million arthroplasties are performed worldwide each year. One of the biggest problems of a total joint replacement is a prosthetic joint infection (PJI), which is reported in 0.5-2% of cases. This adds up to more than 2500 cases of PJI in the Netherlands alone. Bacteria on the prostheses build a layer called the biofilm which can only be treated insufficiently with antibiotics and mechanically by wound irrigation. The consequences are repeated, costly and burdensome irrigation procedures, which may eventually lead to the total replacement of the prosthesis.
An estimated 50.000 patients require PJI treatment each year. Besides these patients, other patient cohorts could benefit from this technology. For instance, trauma patients with bone fractures that require plates and screws as well as neurosurgical patients that need surgery of the spine. Inclusion of these patients would lead to an additional 45.000 patients each year.
Removal of the biofilm greatly reduces the risk of recurrent infections. This novel device heats implants by induction, removing the bacterial colonies on the implant. The heat reaches areas where antibiotics and irrigation cannot. The device will be small and handheld in order to ensure optimum handling within surgery. The heating coils will be sterile and disposable. Heating will be done during the first irrigation and takes only 1.5 minutes.
A prototype has been tested in vitro and has shown promising results with regard to biofilm removal. A Dutch Patent has recently been granted, a European patent has been filed and a multicentre study is planned.
Meet the team
Richard van de Wateringen
Lead Implant Preservation Devices at NLC. 25+ years of experience in Medical Devices, with a focus on Orthopaedics. Additional experience in Wound Care, Ostomy Care and Dental care. Has held senior management roles in a number of leading Orthopaedic and Medical Device companies for the last 25 years. Launched groundbraking Orthopaedic implant devices in major markets and developed Orthopaedic businesses in emerging markets.
Taco van der Feltz
Venture partner at NLC
A highly international and networked entrepreneur trained as Medical Doctor and Medical Biologist, he is a visionary strategist conversant within and across disciplines. As Venture Partner, his focus is on building innovative companies and strengthening NLC’s abilities to bring innovations to healthcare.