Institute for Applied Neuroscience signs exclusive license for minimally-invasive spine surgery implant

The Medical University of South Carolina’s (MUSC) Institute for Applied Neurosciences (IAN) has successfully licensed a new, patented, minimally-invasive spine surgery product to Amendia, Inc. A leading provider of innovative medical devices used during spinal surgical procedures based in Marietta, Georgia, Amendia has acquired the exclusive worldwide rights to manufacture and sell Sinu-Lok™, a new replacement for standard rod implants used in thoracolumbar spine surgery. This is the first medical device product developed and patented by the IAN technology accelerator since it was established in early 2013 at MUSC in Charleston, South Carolina.

Sinu-Lok™ is a novel sinusoidal curve-shaped titanium rod implant designed to address a challenging issue in minimally invasive lumbar spinal fusion surgeries when standard titanium rods are used. In minimally invasive lumbar spine surgery procedures, the screws are extra tall to allow for much smaller incisions when putting them in. The standard rod implant that is used today to connect the screws has a curvature that forces the top part of the tall screws to bump together or even overlap when the construct is tightened down. This puts stress on the construct components, leading to potential false torque and, in some cases, false tightening where the screw-rod locking mechanism is not properly engaged and could lead to a loose construct post-operatively. It also creates additional challenges for compression and distraction forces to be applied to the construct during the surgery, as well as tissue necrosis where the tall minimally invasive screw towers are colliding or overlapping. The patented sinusoidal curve shape on Sinu-Lok rods provides an extended range of axial connection between the screw-rod interface when the construct is tightened down and it actually creates divergence of the screw towers versus convergence.

“We are very excited about Amendia recognizing the value of this unique differentiated solution for a real clinical problem in minimally invasive spine surgery and committing to manufacture and market this procedural solution as soon as possible,” said Ted Bird, IAN chief development officer. “This first license is validation of our unique innovation incubator-technology accelerator model, demonstrating our ability to transform ideas into valuable healthcare products to make a difference in patient’s lives.”

IAN has reviewed more than 100 invention disclosures during the past two and a half years and have activated eight projects, six of which are ready for commercial licensing.

“We are pleased to be the first licensee partner with IAN and will be incorporating the Sinu-Lok technology into our Savannah – T™ Pedicle Screw System as a key differentiator for Amendia in minimally invasive spinal fusion procedures,” said Jeff Smith, Amendia CEO. “The technology and model developed by the IAN team at MUSC is a great fit with our mission to exceed surgeon and patient expectations by creating balanced solutions with disruptive technologies for medical devices paired with biologics and instrumentation.”


IAN is a non-profit technology accelerator embedded within the Medical University of South Carolina, (MUSC) Department of Neurosurgery in Charleston, South Carolina. Established in 2013, IAN was built built to serve the interests of patients with neurological disorders with a mission to “apply scientific and clinical discovery to concrete neuroscience problems and develop technological advancements that will make a difference in patients’ lives.” The management and development team at IAN includes a renowned faculty of neuroscience clinicians and scientists, along with talented engineers and business development experts. This diverse team was assembled to innovate, develop, and collaborate with industry partners. Their goal being to swiftly and efficiently meet the increasing patient and practitioner demand for breakthroughs in treatment across the spectrum of neurologic disorders. IAN is currently developing technologies in the areas of neurological assessment, spine surgery, imaging, neurovascular, and treatments for brain tumors and spinal cord injury. For additional information about IAN, call (843) 792-5406 or visit www.ianeuro.org

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 13,000 employees, including approximately 1,500 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $2.2 billion. MUSC operates a 750-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children’s Hospital, the Ashley River Tower (cardiovascular, digestive disease, and surgical oncology), Hollings Cancer Center (one of 68 National Cancer Institute designated centers) Level I Trauma Center and Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit musc.edu. For more information on hospital patient services, visit muschealth.org.


Headquartered in a state of the art manufacturing facility in Marietta, Georgia, Amendia is a leading provider of innovative medical devices used during spinal surgical procedures. Founded in 2008, Amendia’s mission is to exceed surgeon and patient expectations by creating balanced solutions with disruptive technologies for medical devices paired with biologics and instrumentation. Amendia’s vertically-integrated strategy focuses on improving surgical outcomes and the lives of patients with spinal disorders. For more information, visit www.amendia.com

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