Editor’s Note: This article is written by Andrew Spence, and it was originally published on The Lead Southern Australia.
A plate designed to help wrist fractures heal faster will be launched next month. The VRP 2.0 (Volar Radius Plate) relies on 3D metal printing for part of its manufacture, and it can also be fitted more easily by surgeons. It is the result of a joint project between the University of Adelaide’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) and Austofix, a South Australian medical device company specializing in orthapaedic trauma devices.
The design is composed of an improved locking mechanism for the plate and an increased variable angle for the screws, which means surgeons can get a better hold on the wrist bone, leading to quicker healing. The VRP 2.0 is expected to be suitable for treating 90% of all wrist fractures, and it will be released in Australia in June 2016.
Austofix General Manager Chris Henry said the compact, universal wrist plate used patented locking technology to enable the screws to create an angulation of 40° as opposed to the standard 30°. Austofix has a number of products, such as a range of stainless steel and titanium surgical nails, which it exports to the Middle East and China.
The VRP 2.0 project was part-funded by the South Australian government through the Photonics Catalyst Program, a joint initiative between the state’s Department of State Development and IPAS.
South Australia is emerging as a hub for the medical devices industry. This week the state’s capital Adelaide hosted the 9th annual AusMedtech conference for the first time. The city is also home to the new Adelaide BioMed City precinct, a $3 billion tripartite health hub comprising a soon-to-be-completed major hospital, research centers and educational institutions.
University of Adelaide’s Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing