News and Events

First in Israel: Successful Polymer Implant for Hip Replacement

Publication Date: 12/17/2017

Two patients in need of a hip replacement are the first in Israel to benefit from a new polymer implant via a clinical trial being held at Rambam Health Care Campus.

Professor Daniel Levin performs the
new surgery at Rambam.
Top Left Inset: The new polymer implant.
Photo Credit: Pioter FliterProfessor Daniel Levin performs the new surgery at Rambam. Top Left Inset: The new polymer implant. Photo Credit: Pioter Fliter

Oxana Smarsky is the second Rambam patient to undergo a successful hip joint replacement with the MP1™, a new long-lasting self-lubricating lining material developed by materials engineer and chemist Aliza Buchman, Development Manager of the Israeli startup MMA Tech, in collaboration with Professor Rob Bryant (Virginia, USA). The first Rambam patient was a 60-year old woman with a hip fracture. The Polymer was adapted for medical devices by Ms. Buchman and Simha Sibony, a biomedical engineer at MMA Tech. Both patients were able to take their first steps a few days after the procedure.

The polymer was developed to replace steel ball bearings for the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) program. The light-weight, self-lubricating, zero wear, strong materials are also perfect for use in human joints. The MP-1™ liner was first implanted with 100% success in 74 patients in New Zealand 12 years ago with no failures, meeting ISO and CE standards. The Israel Ministry of Health authorized up to 15 clinical trials at Rambam Health Care Campus to test the efficacy of the new implant.
Professor Daniel Levin, Director of Hip Service at Rambam Health Care Campus, performed the first operations under the direction of Professor Doron Norman, Director of the Orthopedic Surgery Section. "The goal is to give our patients the best treatment," says Dr. Levine. "This development is still in the experimental stage, but on the face of it, the material properties give better results than existing materials. One of the problems with existing implants is wear and tear. Over time patients will have to undergo repeat surgery and replace the implant due to loosening and cracking. The expectation for the new material is long-term durability and the possibility for patients to have a better quality of life." Professor Nimrod Rosen, head of orthopedic department of Haemek Hospital in Afula, intends to join the project and is interested in implanting 50 more MP-1™ liners.

The number of hip replacements in western countries has been rising with a sharp increase [21.8% (Germany) and 31.9% (USA) in 2005-2011] in revision hip replacements—when the prosthesis needs to be removed and replaced, a much more complex operation that the initial implant. To avoid multiple surgeries, patients with painful damaged or diseased hip joints often avoid surgery as long as possible.

The MP-1™ has been adopted for knee joints as well as for dental implants and is being developed as nails and plates for the treatment of fracture and fusion in trauma medicine. "The scientific and medical community in Europe strongly believes in this development … and we are certainly encouraged by the results of the additional surgeries" says Buchman, adding that the company received a research grant of 1.5 million euros for continued work. The potential market for the device is huge. As a leading medical center in its field, a referral to Rambam to take part in clinical research was natural and we are pleased with this partnership."