Aurora Spine Corporation announced today the first surgery using the Discovery™ interbody cage with TiNano™ plasma spray coating. The surgery, a multi-level case, was performed at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, CA by Dr. Neville Alleyne.

"The new TiNano titanium spray blast coating has increased the surface area for superior osteointegration. TiNano is the next generation of interbody fusion cages" said Dr. Alleyne. Dr. Alleyne is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and the director of the Orthopaedic Spine Center at Tri-City Medical Center. He uses minimally invasive approaches to spinal disorders.

The Aurora Discovery cages with TiNano plasma spray coating allow for bone ingrowth due to its porous structure. The surgery marks the introduction of the TiNano product line, the most recent addition of advanced spinal products in the Aurora MIS portfolio. Aurora Spine continues to expand its product offerings in support of its mission of minimally invasive technology.

The idea: Small tubes would connect the fiber device, worn around the waist, to blood vessels, so that patients could move around, keeping up their muscle strength instead of being restricted to bed.

There's "at the least the inkling that we can dream of sending somebody home with an artificial lung," Griffith said.

A bridge to transplant isn't the only need, said Harabin of NIH's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which is funding work by Griffith, Federspiel and others.

Thousands each year suffer acute lung failure from trauma or disease that hits too suddenly to even consider transplant. Researchers like Griffith want to test if these experimental technologies could offer them a better chance to heal than ventilators, which can further damage lungs.

Back in Pittsburgh, Sacker is slowly gaining strength with his second set of transplanted lungs. He doesn't remember the fight for his life; he was sedated through it. But his wife has told him how touch and go it was.

"You get a call at the last second about a device that has never been used here in the United States — that's a miracle," he said.