BIOS, formerly Cambridge Bio-Augmentation Systems (CBAS), graduated from Cambridge Social Ventures in July 2016.
By standardising the interface between an amputated stump and any prosthetic, this social venture aims to diversify the prosthetics available to patients. Converting the limb prosthetics industry to a plug and play model will lower the cost and technical barrier to entry of prosthetics manufacture and provide patients with faster recovery times and greater choice. We believe that this will have huge impacts on the lives of amputees and the cost of medical care, both pre and post amputation.
BIOS is patenting an integrated medical device that provides the interface between an advanced prosthetic and the body. This device is designed to be implanted at the point of surgery replacing the end of the stump. It combines mechanical, neural and protective interfaces at the end of the amputated limb that will be accessed by a standard open source interface on the exterior. This will allow patients to have their choice of plug and play prosthetics made by a variety of manufacturers, or even produce their own.
Their device also improves patient care and monitoring through embedded strain gauges and bio-sensors for assessing device health, wound healing or biofilm formation.
Being first to market with a widely adopted standard would open up access to per-unit and service revenues as well as licensing fees from those who develop commercial parts for the interface. By solving the complex tissue interfaces of prosthetic attachment the process of prosthesis design is opened up, allowing more advanced prosthetics to enter the market.
The device and company were devised and founded by two University of Cambridge engineering PhD students specialising in biomaterials and machine learning & neuroscience respectively:
- Oliver Armitage, Co-founder & Director
- Emil Hewage, Co-founder & Director
Other members of the team include:
- Eloise Taysom MEng (PhD Engineering Design)
Medical & consumer product design experience: concept, analysis & prototyping.
- Kalon Hewage BSc MBBS (FY1 doctor, Dorset County Hospital)
Partner for co-ordinating clinical R&D team. Current track: Orthopaedic Surgery
- Professor Joanne Hackett (Professor of Regenerative Medicine, University of Cambridge & Linköping University)
Interim COO and Research Lead – Cambridge University Health Partners
- Dr Sean Butler (Intellectual Property Lecturer, University of Cambridge)
- Richard Hobbs (Director Cambridge Research & Development)
The intention is to bring additional partners from relevant backgrounds into an open innovation style social enterprise organisation.
The aim is for BIOS’s interface to become a global industry standard, so that people who wake up from amputation surgery do so having immediately had this device installed, instead of a stump formed. With the device externally presenting an open source standard interface that is publically available, patients will be able to connect any prosthetic immediately.
The impact on the lives of amputees, the profits of prosthetic manufacturers and the quality of care and associated costs for healthcare providers will be immense.
This is disruptive technology that can best be fast tracked using a social enterprise model. We are delighted to join the founder.org accelerator programme and Mass Challenge UK in supporting BIOS.