Childrens surgeons have to face a lack of knowledge concerning the implications on the growth of the bones by using implants. The actual state-of-the-art is to use adults implants that are reduced in size and are mostly made out of titanium. As a result of that a second operation is necessary to remove the implants again.
The Laura Bassi Centre of Expertise BRIC (BioResorbable Implants for Children) has the goal to develop totally new methods and materials. Bioresorbable implants would lead to two major benefits: implant removal would be unnecessary (saving a second operation and thus reducing risk and effort for the patient) and fracture healing would be encouraged by the special properties of these implants. Children do not need to undergo the traumata of another operation, there are no additional times of absence from school, the growing process (influence of osteosynthesis on the growth plate) can be investigated thoroughly and implant design can be optimised.
In order to be successful five main work-packages have been defined:
Development of implants of a newly defined basic material
Modification of actually existing magnesium-implants
Evaluation of the influence of these materials to the growth plate
Application in a sheep model
Preparation of clinical application