ISTO Technologies, based in St. Louis, Mo., has received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for its InQu bone graft extender and substitute. The patent, "Matrix Made of Polyester Polymers Entangled with Hyaluronic Polymers Useful for Supporting Tissue Repair," covers the unique biosynthetic structure of ISTO's product.
There are more than half a million spinal fusions performed in the United States each year. The gold standard for an effective healing process is harvesting the patient’s own bone, surgeons are reluctant to do this due to the chronic pain and potential infection associated with the procedure. There are a variety of synthetic calcium-based bone graft substitutes on the market, but ISTO’s product is made from polymer.
InQu is made from a combination of hyaluronic acid and polylactide-co-glycolide (PLGA). Hyaluronic acid is a carbohydrate also known as hyaluronan or hyaluronate, and it is naturally found in the body in tissue central to regeneration and repair. When not bound to other molecules, it binds to water giving it a stiff viscous quality similar to Jello. There is heavy interest across the medical community in this substance, and is the subject of a lot of recent research. Its function is to bind water and lubricate moveable parts of the body, including joints, which makes it a viable option for products such as bone grafts.
Research has shown that PLGA creates an osteoconductive surface that supports bone growth as it undergoes resorption at the site of implantation. According to ISTO, this biomaterial offers optimized handling during surgery, unobscured radiographic monitoring of bone healing, and predictable results. Unlike the ceramic bone graft substitutes, which are slowly replaced during osteoclastic remodeling, InQu has been found to support the normal process of endochondral bone formation.
ISTO received a 510(k) U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance for the device in 2007, and is currently on the market.
ISTO Technologies, an orthobiologics company focused on developing products to regenerate and restore function to damaged cartilage and bone.