Dr. Sándor Farkasdi and Dr. László Márk Czumbel from the Department of Oral Biology received the 2019 Innovation Award for the most innovative PhD project. They developed reproducible accessories ensuring the standardized application of the trepan drill, used in interventions of dentistry, neurosurgery, otorhinolaryngology and other R&D procedures involving hard tissue interventions. The development prevents the drill from penetrating into the tissue deeper than necessary, thus reducing the risk of severe complications, increasing the procedure’s predictable precision and making sampling more efficient.
Dr. László Márk Czumbel joined the research work at the Department of Oral Biology when he was an undergraduate student of the Students’ Scientific Association and is still part of the team as a PhD student. He met Dr. Sándor Farkasdi, who received his PhD last year and is currently working as an assistant research fellow at the Department of Oral Biology. In addition to university research, he works as a dentist in Budapest and Moscow and is developing a system supporting distance health education and quality control.
“We are assessing materials used in both dentistry and orthopaedics and are looking for the ones that can be best used and further developed. There are other research projects underway studying certain signalling molecules that boost bone formation. In addition to bone substitutes, we are conducting research related to the characteristics of implants, comparing implants of different surfaces and materials and are looking at the dynamics of the relationship between bone and implant in different surfaces and materials.”, said Dr. László Márk Czumbel.
They both believe it is essential to do scientific research besides clinical work to keep their knowledge up-to-date and to be able to look for answers to the scientific questions that are most relevant in their clinical work. They are looking for scientific, evidence-based solutions for difficulties encountered during implant surgeries, such as the difficulty of ossification or inflammation in the tissue around the implant. This is how their innovation award winning idea, the trepan stopper of guard was born. The trepan drill is a medical device used not only in dentistry but in neurosurgery, brain surgery, orthopaedics and oncology as well.
“In dentistry, it is usually used for bone sampling or for the removal of implants. The problem is that in many cases it is impossible to arrive at the desired penetration depth with millimetre accuracy and it is difficult to control how deep to drill. If the drill penetrated deeper than necessary, it could cause further damage. Our newly developed trepan guard addresses this problem, as the use of the drill becomes completely predictable.”, said Dr. Sándor Farkasdi.
The research group developed two separate units. One consists of two rings, which are easy to apply, can be fastened at two points and prevent the drill from penetrating deeper than necessary. The other accessory standardizes tissue sampling; by inserting the unit inside the drill it makes the extraction of the bone sample in the drill possible. Up till now, the samples could only be obtained without damaging them by sawing the drill into two. Therefore, a new trepan drill had to be used for each tissue sampling, which incurred additional costs.
The innovation is the result of successful team work. The development process was made possible primarily by the support of Dr. Gábor Varga, head of department and Dr. József Blazsek, associate professor and its success is due to multidisciplinary work. László Pató and Dávid Pammer, health engineers are also important founders of the research group. Besides the successful results and the excellent multidisciplinary team work, the invention will only be successful if it can be utilized in the market. The young inventors are negotiating with several Hungarian and international companies on the utilization of their innovation in which they are aided by the Innovation Centre. Tamás Kantár, technological manager not only ensured that they could familiarize with the Centre’s services but together with András Erkel, patent attorney, he helped the patent application of the utility model of the trepan drill guard to the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office.
“It is important that this serves as an example to other researchers and clinicians at the university. Anyone, who has an idea related to an innovative solution, should seize the opportunity to patent their ideas, prototypes and their market use with the help of Semmelweis University’s Innovation Centre.”, Dr. Sándor Farkasdi and Dr. László Márk Czumbel said.
Bernadett Bódi, Pálma Dobozi
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University
Translation: Ágnes Raubinek