A novel disc stabilization approach - What is it, and how does it work?

The injectable polymer stabilization technology for degraded spinal discs is manufactured by Intralink-Spine in its quality controlled manufacturing facility in Lexington, Kentucky.  

 

To administer the product, the liquid and solid vial components are combined and injected into the spinal disc.  The tissue bonding monomers are delivered as a liquid and self-polymerize to form solid mechanically-functioning chains or "nano-tethers" of a purified organic molecule. 

 

The polymers simultaneously disperse uniformly through the porous extracellular matrix of the intervertebral disc’s annulus fibrosus, and attach the chain ends to the surface of collagen fibrils throughout the disc annulus tissue.  The polymers begin to self-polymerize in seconds (prior to injection), with the majority of dispersal, self-polymerization, and attachment complete within 10 minutes, while the remaining unattached polymers diffuse through and attach to the dense but porous matrix upon contact until all of the polymer chains are attached to the matrix. 

 

Once the local dispersal, self-polymerization, and attachment are complete, the polymer network is inert and physically secures the targeted disc to inhibit unconstrained excessive motions and stabilize the spinal joint.  

Schematic of peripheral disc annulus collagen molecules (2 blue and 1 red helix) after attachment of genipin polymer “nano-tethers” (self-polymerized oligomers; green bands)