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Patent: Artificial Ligaments & Tendons for Busted Knees, Shoulders & Other Joints
Patent:  Artificial Ligaments & Tendons for Busted Knees, Shoulders & Other Joints | mca_edi_miss_txbz, patent,ligaments,tendons,Javier Macossay-Torres, Edinburg,8142501,artificial Ligaments,tendons,multifilaments, nanofibers,

Javier Macossay-Torres of Edinburg received U.S. Patent 8,142,501 for “Artificial Ligaments and Tendons Comprising Multifilaments and Nanofibers and Methods for Making.”

Texas Business Patent of the Day:  Joint problems? A South Texas man has devised a way to make high ligaments and tendons.

Javier Macossay-Torres of Edinburg received U.S. Patent 8,142,501 for “Artificial Ligaments and Tendons Comprising Multifilaments and Nanofibers and Methods for Making.”

Macossay-Torres applied for the patent almost three years ago on April 21, 2009.

The patent assignee is The Board of Regents of the University of Texas System of Austin.

The present invention relates generally to nanotechnology and, more particularly, the development and use of artificial (prosthetic) ligaments or tendons comprising nanofibers.

Ligaments and tendons are bands or sheets of fibrous connective tissue that provide support and stability to the musculoskeletal system. Ligaments extend between adjacent bone structures and serve a primary function of providing appropriate stability to the bone structures to maintain them in an aligned, spaced relation, particularly when subjected to loads in tension or upon torsional movement. Tendons, also capable of withstanding tension, are tough bands of fibrous connective tissue that usually connect muscle to bone.

Over 800,000 injuries to ligaments, tendons and the joint capsule occur every year in the U.S. Among the most common injuries are to the patellar tendon, the anterior cruciate ligament, the posterior cruciate ligament, the medial collateral ligament, the Achilles tendon, the anterior talofibular ligament, the calcaneofibular, the rotator cuff tendons, the acromioclavicular ligament and the gluteus medius tendon.

Unfortunately, insufficient vascularization impedes complete healing after extreme tearing or rupture of these tissues.

Therefore, surgical intervention is commonly required to perform autografts, allografts or to treat the injury with prosthetic ligaments or tendons.

The use of autografts often imparts additional injury to the patient, causing donor site morbidity and increased recovery times, while allograft availability is limited and possesses the risk of transmitting infections and obtaining adverse immunological reactions from the patient.

In contrast, artificial ligaments and tendons used in reconstructive surgery do not present these problems but frequently fail over time.

As a consequence, there is a need to develop materials that will allow regeneration or replacement of ligaments and tendons. Such a challenging task should result in biocompatible materials with mechanical properties that will resemble the natural tissues.

Macossay-Torres’ invention generally involves the production of ligament- or tendon-mimicking nanofibers (LTM nanofibers) that may be used as artificial (prosthetic) ligaments or tendons.

In particular embodiments, the present invention involves the production and use of LTM nanofibers that optionally comprise carbon nanoparticles, such as carbon nanotubes (CNTs), carbon nanofibers (CNFs), graphene, graphene oxide, and/or other graphene derivatives. The LTM nanofibers of the present invention may be designed to exhibit secondary structural features that offer improved biocompatibility and mechanical characteristics over nanofibers and other materials that lack such secondary structure features.

 The invention also contemplates multifilaments, such as multifilaments comprising two or more LTM nanofibers. In certain embodiments, the multifilament exhibits a secondary structure, as that term is defined herein. The LTM nanofibers of a multifilament may comprise any polymer as discussed herein. In certain embodiments, the LTM nanofiber comprises a polymer selected from the group consisting of Lycra.RTM., Hydrothane.

In some embodiments of the present prosthetic ligaments or tendons, the secondary structure comprises one or more crimping angles in each of at least a portion of the plurality of LTM nanofibers. In some embodiments, at least a portion of the crimping angles are between about 3 degrees and about 25 degrees. In some embodiments, the at least a portion of the crimping angles are between about 6 degrees and about 17 degrees. In some embodiments, the at least a portion of the crimping angles are between about 6 degrees and about 10 degrees. In some embodiments, the at least a portion of the crimping angles are between about 13 and about 17 degrees.