NIH awards grant to upstart for nanotech, regenerative spinal implants

FortiCore interbody fusion device with proprietary nanotube surface technology--Courtesy of Nanovis

Carmel, IN-based startup Nanovis is no stranger to nabbing research grants. It's just nabbed one from the National Institutes of Health for preclinical research on the use of its porous Forticore interbody fusion devices in combination with nanotube technology. The combination is expected to result in a surface that mimics nature and encourages regeneration around an implant.

Nanovis has previously gotten 8 competitive peer-reviewed grants from the NIH and other research organizations; this is its second NIH grant. In September 2014, it got FDA clearance for its FortiCore interbody fusion devices and then last October it launched an expanded FortiCore line.

"Gaining the attention and support of the NIH for Nanovis' technology platforms and research is gratifying," said Nanovis CEO Matt Hedrick in a statement. "Our deeply porous FortiCore interbody fusion device are increasingly being adopted by leading surgeons and hospital networks driving accelerated company growth. As we progress forward, we continue to invest in the fundamental science at the core of our uniquely differentiated technologies. Grants from the NIH help us continue to discover potential applications to improve the future of healthcare."

The NIH research is slated to explore the use of those cleared implants in combination with its preclinical nanotube technology. A nanosurfaced FortiCore interbody device along with nanosurfaced FortiFix pedical screws are expected to result in more natural healing--since the nanotube surface is rough, thereby more accurately mimicking the patterns on bone and soft tissue. Most current implants are smooth at a nanoscale.

Close-up of FortiCore--Courtesy of Nanovis

"The surface structure of medical devices plays a critical role in how the body heals around an implant," said co-investigator of the study Dr. Rick Guyer, who is the co-founder of the Texas Back Institute and Director of the Spine Fellowship Program. "Mimicking natural surfaces at the nano scale, about the size of a protein, to encourage natural regenerative processes may improve results for patients challenged to quickly heal on their own. Nanovis' science-focused approach to developing unique implant technologies shows significant potential to enhance performance. This research will evaluate the differentiated capabilities and unique potential of these advanced technologies."

Founded in 2006, Nanovis has raised about $4 million in capital, according to SEC filings.

- here is the announcement

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