the Sinu-lok device

The Medical University of South Carolina’s Institute for Applied Neurosciences (IAN), a technology accelerator that was created in 2013 to develop neuroscience technologies, has licensed its first medical device.  Amendia, based in Marietta, Georgia, has acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture and sell Sinu-Lok™, a rod implant used in minimally invasive lumbar spinal fusion surgery. In this procedure, the screws that will connect the rod implant are extra tall to allow for smaller incisions when putting them in. Today’s standard rod implant is slightly bowed. When the surgeon tightens the construct down, the rod’s curvature forces the top part of the tall screws to bump together or even overlap. This puts stress on the construct components, which can lead to a loosening of the construct after the surgery and other complications.

Alternatively, the Sinu-Lok rod has a smooth oscillating shape that provides several concave locations in which the screws can seat when tightened. This patented shape also provides an extended range of axial connections between the screw-rod interface when the construct is tightened, creating a divergence of the screw towers instead of the convergence caused by the standard rod.

The licensing of Sinu-Lok is a key milestone for IAN, says Ted Bird, Chief Development Officer for IAN. “This license validates our unique technology acceleration model and demonstrates our ability to develop, patent, and commercialize valuable health care ideas from MUSC. Sinu-Lok was the first product developed and patented by IAN and we are very pleased to have a commercial partner like Amendia that is committed to manufacturing and commercializing this product as soon as possible to benefit surgeons and ultimately patients.”

IAN has seven additional active projects in the areas of concussion detection, neurovascular cranial access systems, brain tumors, spine surgery, intra-operative neuro-monitoring, and general surgical devices, as well as a current pipeline of 10 potential projects being reviewed.

Illustration by Emma Vought