Biomaterial and Articular cartilage testing company Biomomentum Inc., has announced that it has received CE marking for the Arthro-BST™, an arthroscopic probe developed for precise and non-destructive evaluation of articular cartilage.
The idea that the condition of articular cartilage cannot be completely established only by assessing its surface visual appearance is not new. Any arthroscopist can spot degenerate cartilage a mile off by assessing its colour, probing its texture or assessing its integrity. However what lies beneath the surface of apparently healthy cartilage is likely to have a predetermining impact on its fate. Cartilage which looks healthy may be hiding signs of early degeneration which, if addressed could theoretically improve long term outcome and head off later problems at the pass. Researchers have for years attempted to develop diagnostic probes which are able to provide quantitative “tactile” feedback and in so doing assess cartilage condition. To date we’re not aware that any have found their way into routine use as diagnostic tools.
Now, Canadian company Biomomentum Inc has gone a step further by unveiling its newly CE marked technology, which assesses cartilage quality in a non-destructive way, using a diagnostic probe. According to the company the probe measures “streaming potentials” generated during gentle compression of the articular cartilage, which can be translated into an assessment of the physical characteristics of the tissue.
So what’s “streaming potential”?
According to Biomomentum’s highly informative website, during compression of normal cartilage, the flow of interstitial fluid displaces positively charged mobile ions relative to negatively charged proteoglycans entrapped within the collagen network. This generates an electric potential called “streaming potential”. Degenerated cartilage is characterized by a loss of proteoglycans and a weakening of the collagen network. Due to a smaller displacement of positive ions relative to negatively charged proteoglycans, compression of arthritic cartilage generates abnormally low streaming potentials.
How does the probe assess streaming potential?
Arthro-BST™ measures “compression-induced” streaming potentials of articular cartilage. Its spherical tip, a disposable “indenter” features an array of 37 electrodes. When pressed into the cartilage surface the number of microelectrodes touching the cartilage surface at a given time corresponds to the amplitude of compression. Upon reaching a predetermined amplitude, the software takes a snapshot of the electric signals and computes a value which is independent of both the force applied and the indenter orientation.
Linking streaming potential to physical characteristics
From the data received the system calculates a quantitative parameter reflecting the electro-mechanical properties of the cartilage. Scientific literature has indicated that streaming potentials are not only a function of the stiffness of cartilage, but also of its composition, structure and thickness.
“These were major milestones for the Arthro-BST™ and we are very proud of the accomplishments. This device is well under way to revolutionizing arthroscopic assessments of cartilage by providing the surgeon with reliable and quantitative cartilage evaluations. Biomomentum will now mobilize its resources and work with the best orthopaedic surgeons to break the paradigms and promote this game-changing product”, said Dr. Eric Quenneville, co-founder and CEO.
If you routinely perform arthroscopic surgery we’d love to hear your views on this product.
Source: Biomomentum Inc.