A machine tailored to cut as precisely as a CNC machine, but still be aseptic enough for a clean room — that was the task assigned by clients of Biocut Systems’. For a company that is persistent in pursuing customer delight the decision was a no brainer — challenge accepted.
“We really design everything around clean room use,” said project manager and lead mechanical engineer Jack Leonovicz. “So, the machine had to have a very small footprint all while being modular so that it can be easily assembled and disassembled for cleaning.”
Bone mills are used to precisely cut hard tissue or bone which are ultimately broken down into small particulates and used for various operations such as orthopedic surgeries or joint replacements.
“Currently, a lot of people are using actual full scale CNC machines. CNC machines are not designed for cleanroom use or for processing biologics at all. They’re meant to be in a machine shop, a very dirty environment where they’re cutting metals and other materials,” said Leonovicz.
Some struggles that hinder the CNC from maximum cleanliness include the difficulty to disassemble the machines to thoroughly sterilize them, in addition to the vast size of the machines themselves.
“Our machine is like a desktop unit that would fit on my desk for instance. So, it’s bringing all the benefits of the CNC machine including the accuracy, precision, and consistency and it’s compiling all of that into a clean room-friendly, easy to use machine,” said Leonovicz.
But the most difficult design element came down to the mill’s chuck, the part that holds the bone.
“Chucks are traditionally used in a machine shop environment for machining metals where they don’t need to be taken apart and cleaned. We came up with a very clever design that you can completely disassemble and reassemble without any tools so you can clean it, sterilize it and then reassemble it to be put back onto the machine.”
The innovation decreases processing time while increasing sterilization and quality efforts. Being one of the first to enter the market fully with a full precision control bone mill, the new product further supports Biocut’s overall creation process and a prime example of the revolutionary products the company can make available through time and team work.
“We worked directly alongside our customers to make sure that the resulting product is going to fulfill all of their needs and even allow for future expansion and growth with the product as well,” said Leonovicz.