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Healthcare Innovation: Award-Winning Metallic And Bioabsorbale Implants

Magnezix pin used during surgery - Healthcare Innovation: Award-Winning Metallic And Bioabsorbale Implants

Innovation in healthcare is becoming
a major global focus. Healthcare organisations
face unprecedented challenges to improve quality and access, increase
efficiency, eliminate waste and reduce harm and infection – while containing

An international
German-based company, Syntellix AG, has stepped up to the innovation plate by
developing MAGNEZIX®, the first globally approved, orthopaedic magnesium
implants in the world.

bioabsorbable metal implant is based on magnesium which dissolves completely in
the bone. The implants have the added advantage of
antibacterial properties that helps to prevent infections.

Tens of
thousands of MAGNEZIX® implants have been used by a growing number of leading
orthopaedic surgeons, sports physicians and paediatric surgeons worldwide.

The result of
the company’s specialisation in R&D, and distribution of highly innovative
transformable metallic implants, is revolutionising an expanding range of
orthopaedic surgery including trauma and paediatrics, with a promising future
to enter additional markets such as neuro and dental surgery. 

How MAGNEZIX works

This novel and
ground breaking implant material combines the advantages of the stability of conventional
implants (such as titanium/steel) and the degradation of resorbable implants
(polymers) – creating a transformative implant. Based on the metal magnesium
(Mg), which is essential for various key body functions (including bone
formation), the implants break down in the bone, offering an ideal combination
of metallic stability, near-bone elasticity and bioabsorbability.

The mechanical
properties of Mg (high stability and elasticity) are very close to those of
human bone, making it the ideal material for these stable yet reabsorbable

‘It has been a
long road to the final product and years have been spent in extensive research
and development before the right compound material was earmarked and the
corresponding advanced production processes were developed,’ explained
Professor Claassen, CEO of Syntellix AG.

The advantages

  • Syntellix offers patients a faster, more
    cost-effective and safer recovery process through its bioabsorbable metallic
    magnesium implant
  • The nature of the cutting-edge material eliminates the
    need for patients to endure a second surgery for metal removal
  • This results in less pain, less risk of infection and
    less healing time – this is fast-tracked as magnesium verifiably stimulates
    bone growth (it has an excellent biocompatibility) and improves patients
    psychological well-beings, outclassing titanium and steel implants
  • MAGNEZIX® implants have found particular success for hallux
    valgus, hammer and claw toe surgery because they are highly stable, resorbed
    into the endogenous bone tissue and elastic enough to prevent the ‘Stress
    Shielding Effect’
  • The high magnesium content stimulates bone formation,
    has antibacterial properties that help to prevent infections in the bone and
    promotes healing

orthopaedists, sports physicians and paediatric surgeons around the globe rate these
implants as being advantageous or clinically superior to conventional titanium

The specialist behind the innovation

person behind the innovation is Professor Utz Claassen. In May this year, he
won the German Innovation Award for the magnesium implants – adding to a list
of innovation accolades. He says, ‘We are
convinced that our magnesium technology has the potential to replace
conventional titanium, steel or polymer implants in the long term. But we still
face a challenge before patients all over the world can benefit from it. We are
in an uncompromising pursuit to make these implants availabe to patients around
the globe’

The bioabsorbable implants are particularly effective
in public healthcare systems as it spares the cost of a second procedure to an
already overburdened healthcare system. The implants are currently being used
in six South African Government Hospitals:

  • Livingstone Hospital – Port Elizabeth (Eastern Cape)
  • Frere Hospital  – East London (Eastern Cape)
  • Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital – Johannesburg
  • Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital –
    Johannesburg (Gauteng)
  • Dr George Mukhari Hospital (Ga Ranukwa – Pretoria
  • King Edward VIII Hospital – Durban (Kwa-Zulu Natal)

The implants
combine the advantages of both solid (such as titanium/steel) and resorbable
implants (polymers) – without their respective disadvantages.

conventional implants provide the proper stability needed for bone healing,
they often cause stress-shielding which could leave the bone prone to a
refracture later in life. Also, in many cases a second surgery is needed to
remove the metal implant which puts the patient at risk for hospital
infections, risk of anaesthesia complications, as well as the additional costs
associated with another operation.

Existing resorbable but fragile
polymer materials (based on PGA – polyglycolic acid or PLA – polylactic acid)
are also outperformed by the significantly higher stability of MAGNEZIX®.  Polymers lack the
stability and when they are dissolved they usually leave a hole which means the
bone is not as strong as it was before the fracture.

The broad use of
the absorbable magnesium reduces unnecessary interventions and sick leave,
relieves healthcare providers and offers cost bearers in the healthcare system
savings potential – while simultaneously enhancing the quality of treatment. Likewise,
surgeons who use this product save resources and time, while helping their patients
achieve maximum restorative results.

implants are applicable in a variety of indications in orthopaedic and trauma
surgery. Basically, fractures and non-unions of small bones and small bone
arthrodesis, including, but not limited to, scaphoid fractures, avulsion
fractures, medial and lateral malleolar fractures, intra-articular fractures of
the tarsals, metatarsals, carpals and metacarpals, bunionectomy and osteotomies
around the foot and ankle, arthrodesis of small joints (e.g. phalanges);
fractures of patella, ulna and radial styloid fractures, radial head fractures,
distal humerus intraarticular fractures. In current publications on various
clinical applications, doctors rate MAGNEZIX® implants as being advantageous or
clinically superior to conventional titanium implants.

The kudos

  • Numerous important awards and prizes by experts and
    patients underline the innovativity of MAGNEZIX®. In Germany, these include:
    • The 2019 German Innovation Award in Gold;
      internationally, the implants were a winner in the Product of the Year category
      of the Sustainability Award 2018 program.
    • The German Medical Award 2017, the STEP Award 2017 and
      the Innovator of the Year 2017 award
    • The Future Award 2016 of the German Healthcare Economy

The Innovation Award of the German Economy

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