Johns Hopkins University, 2011 - $20,000

Total Knee Replacement (TKR) surgeries are common in the US, and expected to rise as the population ages. The knee implants typically last 15-20 years, with wear, osteolysis (resorption of bone tissue) and mechanical loosening accounting for 30-40% of follow-up surgeries to fix problems. Much of the wear results from the impact of walking and high cyclic loading, but no currently available artificial knee implants include a force-reduction component.

This team is developing the SpringSert™, an add-on to existing artificial knee implants. This novel device will serve as an artificial shock-absorbing meniscus, reducing impact force throughout cyclic loading and extending the lives of the implants.