An Improved Cast for Bone Fracture Healing

Tech ID: 23506 / UC Case 2012-755-0

Background

The healing of a bone fracture often requires extended immobilization of the affected area, typically accomplished with the use of a cast. However, the approach has not significantly changed for decades; traditional plaster casts are heavy, uncomfortable, and commonly cause skin irritation and pressure point pain. Casts are also subject to molding and degradation by water and sweat. Such moisture retention promotes infection of a wound or surrounding skin. Thus, new devices that can support fracture healing while reducing water retention would greatly improve patient comfort and potentially mitigate losses of productivity and mobility during fracture healing.

Innovation

Researchers from UCLA’s Office of Intellectual Property and the Department of Bioengineering have developed an improved, layered cast that use lighter, synthetic materials to allow greater water permeability than existing casts. The new cast also allows for reversible hardening of the cast to allow for adjustments and removal of pressure points over the course of application. This new cast advances bone fracture treatment by improving the hygiene associated with cast-wearing and by increasing patient comfort through its adjustability and enhanced mobility.

Applications

  • Hold a broken bone in proper alignment to prevent it from moving while it heals

Advantages

  • Lightweight construction increases patient comfort and mobility
  • Reversible hardening allows for adjustments to alleviate pressure points and optimize overall fit of the cast
  • Moisture is drawn away from the skin, further reducing irritation and preventing microbial growth

State Of Development

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Published Application 20150305914 10/29/2015 2012-755
 

Contact

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Inventors

  • Loughran, Emily W.
  • Reed, Stephanie
  • Wang, Jeffrey C.
  • Wu, Benjamin M.

Other Information

Keywords

Cast, bone healing, fracture

Categorized As