Hyposfix, a new medical device to improve paediatric urological surgeries, has been developed by researchers at Germans Trias Hospital, with support from IGTP
Developed by Ventura Medical Technologies
The expertise and innovation spirit of researchers at Germans Trias Hospital's Paediatric Surgery Service has resulted in a new medical device for the treatment of hypospadias: Hyposfix, a urological separator-fixator. This device, which will be launched to market soon, is the result of an idea and a project led at Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP).
Rosa Maria Isnard and Marta de Diego, at the time physicians in charge of paediatric male urethral surgery, circa 2007 developed an early device that allowed to provide stability and tensile force to the surgical site. "During surgeries, the stability of the surgical site is as important as the working area. Working on a tissue that is constantly moving can be challenging" explains Dr Marta de Diego, "and the male urethra is inherently mobile. Stability is typically achieved with an assistant who pulls with their hand from a point attached to the gland." Given that they did not have this additional hand, they developed together with Dr Isnard a device that provided stability and tensile force to the surgical site.
"I remember quite well the early days of Hyposfix, when it was a very rudimentary instrument. Later on, we developed this device with an in-house prototype. This is a thing of the past now. Hyposfix is the perfect device and it would be difficult to perform a long, complex penile surgery without using it" explains Dr Isnard.
During many years, this device became essential, without a single complication derived from its use. Finally, we decided to start a collaboration with Ventura Medical Technologies, a company specializing in the innovation, development, manufacturing and marketing of medical devices. This way we were able to turn the prototype in a marketable product. The result was Hyposfix.
How does it work?
"The goal was to replace the tensile thread held by a hand, in the same urethral axis, by a counter tensile force with the penile base itself. The suture thread is the same in terms of material and location. The difference lies in the way we hold it, behind the device, and the direction of the force. Instead of pulling to tighten the urethra, the device itself exerts the tensile force by having a fixed thread at an end, lying on the patient's tummy and the penile base. This tensile force does not wane after 90 min of surgery, as it happens with a human hand. It remains constant and can be modulated by the surgeon, loosening or pulling the thread behind the device," explains Dr de Diego.
"The main advantage of Hyposfix with respect to previous devices is the stability provided to tissues due to the surgical site lying on a hard surface. It allows independent movements, and convenience and safety that are even more welcomed than the tensile force itself. It is also very simple and easy to remove and can be placed as many times as necessary. Needless to say, if used as indicated, there is no complication derived from its use".
The consultants at the hospital had the support from IGTP's Innovation Unit to protect the device by patent and add it to the portfolio. They developed the design of the device and, subsequently, protected it by patent. After many years in a three-way collaboration (surgeons, IGTP and Ventura Medical), the prototype was developed. After clinical validation of this innovative technological solution, Hyposfix will be ready to be launched to market.
"You never know whether your colleagues will find the same benefits. However, I have to admit that, whenever I have performed surgeries outside my healthcare setting, I have missed its convenience. This is purely the subjective feeling of a surgeon performing a routine task. Thus, I expect that our colleagues will find the same benefits" explains Dr de Diego.
This is a success story of a public-private collaboration between IGTP, healthcare professionals from this reference hospital and Ventura Medical Technologies, the company that developed the device for its launch to market
About Ventura Medical Technologies
Ventura Medical Technologies is a Catalan company from the automotive sector founded on 2010 which branched into the healthcare sector to diversify its product portfolio and leverage the company's knowledge and innovation ability.
The company provides industrial expertise to develop novel medical devices, providing end-to-end engineering solutions to the ideas of researchers from healthcare sites, universities or research institutes.
Ventura Medical Technologies focuses in the various phases of product development to turn an invention into a novel product that can be marketed, so people can benefit from it.
One of its products is Pectus Up, a thoracic implant that has been marketed for 8 years in more than 20 countries across several continents. And from now on, thanks to the close collaboration with researchers at Germans Trias Hospital and their involvement, it will be able to provide Hyposfix.
Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute (IGTP) is a public research institution based in Badalona. Its main goal is advancing scientific knowledge and turn it into solutions with a view to improve healthcare for the patients and the health of people.
IGTP is associated with one of the main university hospitals from the Barcelona area, Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, and is part of the Can Ruti biomedical campus. IGTP is a CERCA site and is also accredited as an excellence site by the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII). It is in charge of coordinating the management of research and scientific strategy at the campus, and works in close collaboration with the other institutions within the campus.
The Can Ruti campus is a multidisciplinary space where several biomedical institutions who are leaders in scientific research at the national and international level are based. These synergies have promoted a unique ecosystem for the creation of innovation projects.