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Surgical Innovations »  Project Portfolio »  Fall 2015 »  Roboimplant


A Non-Invasively Expandable Implanted Rod for Orthopedic Surgery

Principal Investigator: Michael R. Harrison, M.D.
Team Members: Dillon Kwiat, Patrick Curran, Richard Fechter



The science of bone healing is limited by our present inability to measure biological and physical parameters affecting bone growth in real time. The treatment of bone injuries and musculoskeletal disorders stands to be advanced by the integration of sensing technology into orthopedic devices.




The Roboimplant is a magnetically activated expandable intramedullary rod that can be non-invasively controlled and measure and influence bone healing in real time. Coupled with an external remote controller, the system will create a full feedback loop for the treating physician, providing real time data on bone quality and growth and enabling non-invasive adjustments to the treatment course based on data from the implant. This new device has the potential to improve the treatment of all patients affected by orthopedic trauma or skeletal deformity and would decrease the risk of infection by virtue of its placement inside the bone, as opposed to current practice which relies on external fixators or multiple surgeries to adjust the rod.



UCSF Pediatric Device Consortium

Honors & Awards 


1st place, Surgical Innovations Accelerator Shark Tank! September 2015



  • Liu J, Etemadi M, Heller J, Kwiat D, Fechter R, Harrison M, Roy S. ROBOImplant II: Development of a Non-Invasive Controller/Actuator for Wireless Correction of Orthopedic Structural Deformities. J Med Devices. September 2012–Volume 6, Issue 3, 031006 (5 pages)
  • Jiang H, Zhang JM, Liou SS, Fechter R, Hirose S, Harrison M, Roy S. A High-Power Versatile Wireless Power Transfer for Biomedical Implants. Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2010;1:6437-40.

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Department of Surgery Research Teams Awarded Seed Funding at Inaugural Shark Tank Event - UCSF Surgical Innovations - October 23, 2015

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