Automated Device for Spinal Rod Contouring


Reference #: 01121

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for an automated device for spinal rod contouring and cutting.

Invention Description:

The subject invention links with existing spatial navigation technology and automatically cuts and contours a rod to the surgeon’s specifications for subsequent implantation. It accounts for variations in rod diameter and stiffness, so as to be compatible with smaller diameter rods used in the cervical spine; larger diameter rods used in the thoracolumbar spine; dual diameter rods used in cervicothoracic fusions; and titanium and/or vitallium rods and their differing material properties.

Potential Applications:

Spinal rod implants

Advantages and Benefits:

This device reduces surgical procedure time compared to existing practices for spinal rod implantation and can be easily operated by a physician after minimum training for various spinal applications as a result of the following features:

1.    Contours a range of spinal rods in a precise and patient-specific manner

2.    Cuts the spinal rod after contouring

3.    Amenable to sterilization


Current contouring strategies are time-consuming processes that have been shown to increase rates of surgical site infections and reduce operating room efficiency overall. Additionally, as a rod undergoes more manipulations in complex cases, the material properties are weakened making it more susceptible to early failure and debris generation. Furthermore, malcontoured rods place additional stress on the bone/pedicle screw interface, which can lead to early loosening.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Tarek Shazly
Jahid Ferdous
Gregory Grabowski
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