Mimics Innovation Awards Finalists: Péter Éltes and Mate Turbucz

2 min read

Semi-Rigid Fixation of the Rostral Instrumented Segments to Prevent Proximal Junctional Kyphosis in Long Thoracolumbar Fusion 

What was the dream?

Dr. Éltes’ objective was to devise a strategy to alleviate the substantial stresses on the upper portion of the implant system in complex spinal injuries. Doing so could reduce the likelihood of mechanical failures and complications, such as vertebral fractures. 

What was the challenge?

Proximal junctional kyphosis (PJK) is a relatively common complication that occurs following long instrumented posterior spinal fusion surgery, whereby the spine has an abnormal curvature after surgery. Although there are several risk factors for PJK, previous biomechanical studies suggest that one of the leading causes is the sudden change of mobility between the instrumented and non-instrumented sections of the spine. To avoid the complications caused by this change of mobility, a stabilization system is needed to alleviate stresses and facilitate an optimal transition between the fixed and mobile components. 

What are the results?

Dr. Éltes saw that there are significant biomechanical disparities between rigid and semi-rigid fixations. Unlike rigid fixations, semi-rigid fixations resulted in a more gradual motion transition between healthy and instrumented spinal segments. This subsequently reduced loading on the screws at the upper instrumented vertebra, which means that semi-rigid fixations could be an effective tool to help reduce the risk of mechanical complications such as PJK. 

Why this research reached the final

Spinal surgery is a complex and high-risk procedure. To ensure the best possible surgical outcomes, it is extremely important that we improve our understanding of how different surgical techniques and instruments affect the movement and stress in our spine. Dr. Éltes and the rest of his team harnessed the power of state-of-the-art techniques, such as personalized 3D models, to study the effects of different surgical approaches on a common spinal surgery complication. By discovering which techniques work best for certain movements, it is now possible to provide more personalized and effective treatments for each individual patient, which will help tremendously in complications and better overall surgical outcomes. 


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Péter Éltes, National Center for Spinal Disorders


Leading professor: Péter Éltes

Dr. Péter Endre Éltes graduated from the Faculty of Medicine in 2012 at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Targu Mures, Romania. Since then, he has been devoted to biomechanical research and clinical practice at the National Center for Spinal Disorders in Budapest, Hungary. 

In 2018, Dr. Éltes co-founded and has since led the In Silico Biomechanics Laboratory. Here, he delved into the intricate world of patient-specific spinal care with the vision of establishing novel techniques to enhance the quality of everyday clinical practice. To achieve this, he introduced various cutting-edge technologies such as surgery planning and finite element modeling, all tailored to the individual patient. Additionally, he developed and implemented a workflow to utilize 3D printing for improved patient outcomes. 

Dr. Eltes is a board-certified orthopaedic and traumatology doctor who has authored over 30 scientific publications and supervised multiple medical and engineering students throughout his academic career. 

Headshot of Mate Turbucz, a PhD student at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary


Mate Turbucz

Mate Turbucz graduated from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics in 2020 and is currently enrolled in a PhD program at Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary.

Since 2018, he has been a member of the In Silico Biomechanics Laboratory, where he currently works as a biomedical research engineer. His primary research focus is patient-specific biomechanical simulations of the spine, utilizing the finite element method and 3D printing to support evidence-based clinical decision-making. He aims to help bridge engineering and clinical sciences to promote patient well-being.

Mate Turbucz has authored 8 scientific publications, presented at numerous scientific conferences, and earned multiple awards throughout his scientific career.

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