Special Correspondent

MIOT Hospitals

to launch design unit to engineer prototype

CHENNAI: The practice of using artificial joints suited to Western physiology structures in Indian patients could soon go out of fashion with MIOT Hospitals launching a design unit to engineer the quintessentially Indian artificial joint prototype.

The Global Centre for Ideal Joints will design a template of artificial joints that are tailored for Indian patients across age groups, lifestyles and work routines.

The design team at MIOT will draw from international expertise. But the bottom line will be to come up with a design that will address the two important issues governing hip replacements in India — the size and shape mismatch between available implants and the typical Indian femur, as well as the exorbitant costs of the devices.

“Importantly, unlike in the West, joint replacement surgeries in India involve a much younger age group that is highly active,” MIOT chief P.V.A. Mohandas told a press conference on Thursday.

The implication of this is that younger patients (25-30 years) would require a durable and low-wear material like ceramic-on-ceramic or metal-on-metal.

The global centre expects to come up with a prototype within a year before it begins exploring tie-ups with one or more companies for mass manufacture. It aims to develop an end-product that would cost about one-tenth of the Rs.1.50 lakh that an implant now commands.

When the prototype rolls out from the MIOT stable, it will be the first template that accounts for the characteristics of the Indian femur in an industry dominated by American, European and Japanese oriented designs, said Prithvi Mohandas, consultant at MIOT.

Sarah Muirhead-Allwood, chief consultant at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London, who is assisting the global centre here, said the priority would be on developing joints that fall in a smaller size range, avoid stress shielding and are affordable. “The MIOT initiative provides the right platform for building an indigenous manufacturing industry,” she said.

Different sets in a common range

While each category of patients would require variants of the same implant, the computer-aided design exercise would look at evolving different sets of joints within a common range, said Barry D’ Rosario, director, Centre for Joint Replacement Surgery at MIOT.