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Responsive, Expandable, Orthopaedic Implant for Pediatric Limb Salvage Patients

Each year, bone cancer affects approximately 500 children across the world. Limb salvage techniques to maintain equal limb length after tumor and bone removal are vital to the quality of life of these pediatric patients. Current techniques involving expandable implants have limitations, such as high risk of infection, a lengthy rehabilitation period, a limited control of expansion length, a limited frequency of expansion, and a risk of internal component failure. We have created a novel orthopedic implant that expands via a minimally invasive procedure, reducing the risk of infection and rehabilitation time for the patient while improving the previously limited control and frequency of expansion. The novel expandable device has a silicon port for the insertion of insulated needles into an electric circuit that will deliver current to an electric motor. The rotation of this motor drives the linear expansion of the device. Our preliminary results support a strong potential that the design will be an effective minimally invasive technique to expand an orthopedic implant at controlled expansion distances, a vast improvement over current expandable implants.