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Posted: May 19, 2009

Companies Team up for Development of Biomedical Sensor

(Nanowerk News) MEMSCAP, the leading provider of innovative solutions based on MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems), and OrthoMEMS, a medical device company focused on biomedical applications of patented MEMS and wireless technology from Cleveland Clinic, today announced a multi-year strategic partnership and Development Agreement to manufacture an innovative MEMS sensor for the assessment and treatment of mechanical low back pain. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
For MEMSCAP, the partnership is a key component of its plan to expand its manufacturing presence in the U.S. medical device sector with revolutionary products. For OrthoMEMS, the partnership aggressively advances the development of its breakthrough spine product all the way to market with a leading MEMS supplier to medical device companies.
The combined experience and technologies of MEMSCAP and OrthoMEMS enables the development and commercialization of the OrthoChip, a miniature, battery-less, wireless pressure sensor that will provide an objective measurement of spinal disc pressures. The OrthoChip is designed to detect clear-cut pressure differences between normal and mechanically unstable spinal segments and to communicate the results telemetrically to a read-out unit. This new capability is expected to significantly alter indications for surgery and non-surgical treatments. No other technology, existing or emerging, provides this advantage.
As the leading cause of adult disability, spine conditions are widespread. An estimated 26 million people per year in the United States alone report back pain severe enough to seek relief from a physician.
$90 Billion, or 1% of the US gross domestic product, was spent on back pain in 1998.
“OrthoMEMS is an attractive partner because of its strong business and scientific team and the significant commercial potential of its spine application. This partnership is in-line with our strategic commitment to be the lead manufacturer of MEMS in medicine,” stated Steven Wilcenski, General Manager of the MEMSCAP Custom Products Business Unit.
“MEMSCAP has a clear track record of success in developing and manufacturing high-value added MEMS sensors for medical use. This strategic partnership adds real value across our full product cycle – from the design-in phase to the market launch of our ground-breaking product that changes the way clinicians interact with the human body,” said Douglas Lee, Chairman and CEO of OrthoMEMS.
MEMSCAP (Grenoble, France, and Durham, North Carolina) is the leading provider of innovative micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)-based solutions. MEMSCAP standard and custom products and solutions include components, component designs (IP), manufacturing and related services.
About OrthoMEMS
OrthoMEMS, Inc. (Menlo Park, California) is a medical device company that is commercializing proprietary MEMS (micro electro mechanical systems) sensor and wireless technology for spine and orthopedic applications. The pioneering research and patents supporting the Company were developed by clinicians and biomedical researchers at the Cleveland Clinic. The use of implantable MEMS sensors to measure spinal disc pressures is currently under development for the assessment of mechanical low back pain. Moving beyond patient data and imaging, these smart sensors will assist clinicians in localizing the source of mechanical back pain and in optimizing treatment. Ongoing development is focused on sensor integration with motion preservation and other spine fusion and orthopedic devices. OrthoMEMS will commercialize products from internal development programs and through strategic partnerships.
Source: MEMSCAP (press release)
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