On August 22, 2017, Emerging Implant Technologies GmbH (EIT) announced the acquisition of 22 patents and pending applications relating to 3D printed expandable spinal fusion cages based on living hinges from Dr. Morgan Lorio, a spinal surgeon based in Nashville, Tennessee. A recent published application relating to the subject matter can be found here. FIG. 3 of that application, said to illustrate a 3D model printing method, and FIG. 7 said to illustrate an intervertebral cage apparatus are reproduced below.
EIT describes itself as a German medical device manufacturer specializing in implants for spinal alignment. In July 2017, a news article noted that EIT received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to commercialize its spinal interbody product offerings. Regarding EIT’s acquisition, Guntmar Eisen, co-founder and CEO of EIT, stated:
“This IP is our platform to take fully 3D printed fusion cages to the next level by adding functionality to our EIT cellular titanium® cages. This will give the surgeon more options intraoperatively, reduce inventory and support MIS techniques – and at the same time reduce cost of expandable cages.”
According to PRWeb, the first functional spinal fusion cages based on this patent acquisition will be launched in 2018.