Springflex Orthopedics Inc.
This article was originally published in Start Up
Springflex Orthopedics Inc. is using the superelastic memory shape metal alloy, nickel titanium (Nitinol), as a material for anatomic braces. Nitinol provides stabilization and support while allowing more natural movement than conventional braces made with elastic or semi-rigid polymer metal alloy supports, because it can withstand much greater strain levels and still spring back to its initial annealed configuration.
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Some medical devices can make it to the market quickly, usually in a small niche under the radar screen of large companies, and have a considerable impact. For others, there's a world of difference between getting to the market and conquering it: the difficulties of gaining market acceptance may dictate a "hurry up and wait" strategy or a slow, conservative, stepwise approach to marketing to a change-resistant medical community. The accompanying group of profiles of orthopedics/surgical device companies, whose products range from a platform for minimally invasive spine surgery with neurophysiological monitoring (NuVasive) to pyrocarbon-based small-joint replacements (Ascension Orthopedics) and superelastic memory shape alloys for anatomic braces (Springflex Orthopedics) to a soft tissue fixation system (Coapt Systems), reflects a range of commercialization strategies.
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