$20 Million Grant Supports Medical Research in Wichita

28 August 2009

A collaboration between Christi Health System and Wichita State University researchers has just resulted in a $4 million grant being awarded, with that figure potentially rising to $20 million over a five-year period.

The grant, awarded by the Kansas Bioscience Authority will be used to support the Center of Innovation for Biomaterials in Orthopaedic Research (CIBOR) in Wichita, and will fund the development and commercialization of medical devices using composite materials more familiar to the aviation industry.

CIBOR hope that this new development, coupled with the use of composite technologies, will lead to an advancement in implants, such as artificial hips and knees, and help develop medical devices like surgical instruments that can be quickly brought to market; CIBOR see this as a key ingredient to the success of this project, as they believe their products won’t be subjected to a long FDA-approval process.

""We are extremely excited about receiving funding for this unprecedented partnership among health care, aviation and research,"" said Michalene D. Maringer, president and CEO of the Via Christi Wichita Health Network.

""It involves health care, as orthopaedic surgeons will be implanting the devices; aviation, as the composite materials that have worked so well in that industry will be used to make the implants; and the scientists from both industries, as they will be developing the techniques needed to grow new bone cells in the composite structures,” concluded Maringer.

The Kansas Bioscience Authority's decision to fund the grant was made unanimously by its board of directors, who were meeting in Atlanta in conjunction with the 2009 Bio International Conference.

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