Closure Device for Skull Plates

An estimated 18,000+ people will develop brain tumors this year in the US, and over 30,000 people will develop subarachnoid hemorrhages caused by brain aneurysms. Aneurysms and brain tumors are only two of the several conditions that require neurosurgical procedures for treatment. Neurosurgical procedures, especially open craniotomies, are extremely delicate operations, and the last thing a surgeon wants to consider is the difficulties in re-securing a skull flap into the aperture successfully and tightly after completing neurosurgery. When performing operations to the cranium that require sizable apertures to the skull, cranial flap fixation is not as easy and adjustable as possible.

The bone flap closure devices on the market today have certain limitations which keep them from being optimally efficient. There is no convenient, rapid means of de-coupling the capture plates to re-adjust the bone flap position. Also, there is no simple fastening mechanism which can be locked and unlocked via ratcheting. In addition, during closure of the skull, repositioning of the capture plates for the fixation devices is neither easy nor effective.

The present invention was developed as a joint effort between the laboratories of Dr. William Broaddus at Virginia Commonwealth University, a renowned neurosurgeon, Dr. Zhi-Jian Chen, also in the neurosurgery department at VCU, and Dr. George Gillies, a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Virginia and winner of the 2005 Inventory of the Year award at UVa. This new closure device technology allows for all of the above inefficiencies to be removed from concern. The device allows for simple control of placement, tightness, and precision of the bone flap when it is fixated into the aperture of the skull. Also, a smooth rotary ratcheting mechanism has been added to allow for simplicity and ease of use. As a practicing neurosurgeon, Dr. Broaddus has kept his experience with these surgical practices at the forefront of the group’s considerations in development of the device. The fixation technology will be an effective and appealing option for neurosurgeons when considering its simplicity and effectiveness.

Inventor(s): Broaddus, Chen, Gillies

Type of Offer: Licensing

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