Based on its recent analysis of the field of orthopedic tissue engineering, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Pioneer Surgical Technology, Inc. with the 2009 North American Technology Innovation of the Year Award for its development of the E-Matrix™ tissue scaffold for use in orthopedic and spine tissue engineering. The uniqueness of the scaffold rests with the fact that it provides a suitable matrix for cell growth and differentiation in addition to being tissue-specific.
Tissue engineering has largely been used to repair and build human tissue and organs with the main focus being on bones and cartilage. One of the key areas in tissue engineering is the development of biodegradable scaffolds for the growth of cells and tissues. Several synthetic (polyglycolic acid) and natural materials (hyaluronic acid, collagen) have been used to make scaffolds.
"Current generation biological scaffolds do not provide tissue promotion besides using inappropriate matrix materials, and having decreased strength and porosity of scaffolds," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Nandini Ishwarakrishnan. "Overcoming such limitations, Pioneer Surgical's biological scaffold is based on extracellular matrix (ECM) material and is targeted to orthopedic and wound healing applications."
The E-Matrix™ structure is derived from porcine collagen and is widely used in promoting dermal healing and bone repair. The structure combines a high-molecular weight protein with a high-molecular weight carbohydrate, mimicking the open ECM structure of an early mesenchymal tissue. Single stranded molecules are produced by unraveling triple helical collagen structures and these are further stabilized by adding large carbohydrate molecules.
The E-Matrix™ monomer contains exposed polar binding sites which can react with host cells thus leading to the growth and repair of tissues. The E-Matrix™ bio-scaffold provides an open structure that makes these exposed molecular sequences normally obscured in the ECM available to host cells. The bio-scaffold is tissue specific and provides a healing response based on the tissue in which it is used. A key feature of Pioneer Surgical's solution is that its applications span a variety of therapeutic areas ranging from orthopedic and spine to dermal and dental tissue repair.
The E-Matrix's™ primary competitive advantage over other existing scaffolds is its ability to provide excellent handling properties based on the products that it is used with and its ability to provide a superior scaffold for growth and differentiation of cells. It has also been used in combination with nanocrystalline hydroxyapatite to provide an innovative osteopromotive bone graft and also with human demineralized bone matrix (DBM) to improve the healing response of DBM containing bone graft products.
"With the use of the E-Matrix™ bio-scaffold, problems associated with the consistency of biological response may be eliminated. The results of trials conducted using the scaffold have yielded promising results," notes Ishwarakrishnan. "Since the bio-scaffold re-engineers natural ECM with an open structure to provide newly exposed molecular sequences to cells, it could herald the use of a new approach for the development of future scaffolds for tissue engineering."
Pioneer Surgical has a fast paced innovation oriented culture where employee's creativity is encouraged. The caliber of its people and the ideas they have brought have helped the company foster excellence in innovation. For developing a unique scaffold which, with its potential for several surgical applications, could steer tissue engineering research, Pioneer Surgical is a worthy recipient of the 2009 North American Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Innovation of the Year.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has carried out new research, which has resulted in innovations that have or are expected to bring significant contributions to the industry in terms of adoption, change, and competitive posture. The award recognizes the quality and depth of a company's research and development program as well as the vision and risk-taking that enabled it to undertake such an endeavor.
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About Pioneer Surgical Technology, Inc.
Pioneer Surgical Technology, Inc. is a medical device company based in Marquette, Michigan. Founded in 1992, Pioneer Surgical focuses on developing innovative solutions for spine and orthopedic tissue engineering. Accordingly, the company has three divisions: spine, biologics, and orthopedics. In its earlier incarnation, Pioneer Surgical Orthobiologics, was formerly known as Encelle, Inc. and was primarily involved in developing a bio-artificial pancreas. Subsequently, it began developing products for diabetic foot ulcers which were later applied to orthopedic and spine areas. The company has strong research and development capabilities, and its team includes leading surgeons who also serve on the company's medical advisory board.
About Frost & Sullivan
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