The investigation was carried out by Luis Doménech, professor of Industrial Design Engineering and Product Development at CEU-UCH Cardenal Herrera University, and Iván Serra, professor of Veterinary Medicine at the Catholic University of Valencia
CEU-UCH Cardenal Herrera University patented a device that can be applied in surgeries to correct deviations in long bones. The research team found how to use the 3D reconstruction of an affected bone to determine the mathematical formula that in a given case is suitable to design such a device. This device is adjusted to a specific deviated bone and enables a surgeon to set the cutting angle that best suits the bone, and, also, to set the location and orientation of holes that accept the future addition of a corrective prosthesis. It enables realigning the body extremity that is operated on, and also increases precision, shortens the time required for the operation, and improves the operation’s functional results. The device has already been used with success in operations on animals and could have applications in orthopedic surgery on humans.
Angular deviations in the bones of body extremities cause physical overload that, in the case of dogs and other animals that develop those bones in the course of only a few months, can only be corrected through a surgical intervention. After mandatory medical criteria have been met, the device CEU-UCH patented could have applications in adult humans, such as to treat fractures and other pathologies that cause this kind of deviations in the bones of adult people.
Luis Doménech, professor of Industrial Design Engineering and Product Development at CEU-UCH, conceived the mathematical model he uses to determine the dimensions a wedge form needs so that a specific deviated bone can be realigned through surgery. To determine the suitable formula, the bone that is to be operated on is first reconstructed in 3D on the basis of an CT scan, and reproduced in plastic with a 3D printer. Then, using the same procedure, the personalized device that the surgeon uses to determine the optimal points and cutting angles is designed and produced. It takes only two days and a low cost to design the device. It is fit onto the bone with pressure, another one of the innovations for which this investigation stands out.
The device, patented by CEU-UCH, has so far been used in seven orthopaedic surgical interventions on dogs in which Iván Serra, professor of Veterinary Medicine at the Valencia Catholic University Saint Vincent Martyr (UCV), cooperated. These surgeries, which in three dimensions corrected deviations in bones, yielded some very satisfying results. They are fine examples of translational research in which knowledge transfer from applied investigation to the field of clinical practice was very rapid.
International dissemination of the investigation
This new device for surgery of angular deviations in long bones was presented to experts in engineering and veterinary medicine at two international congresses. CEU-UCH professor Luis Doménech presented the mathematical model used to design the device at the 16th Mathematical Modelling in Engineering and Human Behaviour Conference, which took place at the Polytechnic University of Valencia in September. The results of the first surgical interventions on dogs were presented, in the presence of UCV professor of Veterinary Medicine Iván Serra, at the 17th European Society of Veterinary Orthopaedics and Traumatology Congress, which was organized by the European Society of Veterinary Orthopaedics and Traumatology (ESVOT) in Venice (Italy) from October 2 to 4.