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Ascension Orthopedics Granted Patent for PyroCarbon Humeral Head Design

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ascension Orthopedics, Inc., a market leader in PyroCarbon orthopedic implants, announces the receipt of a European patent for a PyroCarbon humeral head design currently being developed as a component of the TITAN™ Modular Shoulder System released in September 2010.

Jerome Klawitter, Ph.D., Founder and Chief Science Officer of Ascension Orthopedics, commented, "I am very pleased our PyroCarbon humeral head hemi-arthroplasty has been patented. PyroCarbon has been shown to cause much less damage to cartilage and bone joint tissues than the Co-Cr metal alloy currently used for shoulder joint hemi-arthroplasty. A PyroCarbon humeral head replacement should extend the functional life of shoulder hemi-arthroplasty and result in improved patient outcomes.  Extensive design and testing has resulted in the development of a product which will soon be available for clinical use."

Klawitter pioneered efforts using PyroCarbon in the manufacture of mechanical heart valves. In the 1970's, his focus turned toward the design of PyroCarbon implants for the orthopedic market. His collaborative efforts with the Mayo Clinic lead to the founding of Ascension Orthopedics in 1992. Since the introduction in 2000 of the first PyroCarbon total joint replacement for the MCP joint of the hand, Ascension has been dedicated to building on the company's experience by successfully using PyroCarbon in both hemi and total joint arthroplasty applications."Our commitment to research with PyroCarbon is based on the material's enhanced wear resistance and biocompatibility against native bone and cartilage compared to metals and ceramics. Native joints have been shown to lubricate through the adsorption of surfactant to cartilage, providing boundary layer lubrication. Similarly, adsorption of surfactant onto graphitic surfaces aids in lubricating joints, offering favorable wear characteristics against native cartilage," added Klawitter.

Ascension Orthopedics is the world leader in PyroCarbon arthroplasty with over 35,000 PyroCarbon extremity joints implanted. Marketed devices include PyroCarbon implants for the hand, wrist, elbow, shoulder and foot. The company is continuing its research and development for the shoulder, with several new products launching in 2011. Ascension's mission is to transform extremities by developing state-of-the-art orthopedic products for the upper and lower limbs to help patients suffering from pain and dysfunction. Ascension Orthopedics sells products in the United States and more than 20 countries worldwide. For further information, please visit INFORMATION CONTACT:Laura LatimerAscension Orthopedics, Inc.512-836-5001

SOURCE Ascension Orthopedics, Inc.
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