NUST MISIS Scientists Create Implants Designed to Help Pugs Breathe

Specialists from the National University of Science and Technology “MISIS” (NUST MISIS) and the innovative start-up “Biomimetix”, along with veterinarians, have designed a titanium-nickel implant for pugs.

The device will help the flat-nosed fluffy patients who are suffering from laryngeal collapse to breathe without the aid of a tube down their throat, according to a press statement from the developers at the university.

The developers added that products made of titanium nickelide, which has a high proportion of nickel and a shape memory quality, are actively used in medicine as various types of implants.

Scientists from NUST MISIS have developed implants for pugs with laryngeal collapse using this alloy. This is a typical condition for this breed and causes shortness of breath and can cause death if the pug isn’t fitted with a special tube.

“The implant sample is a support frame in the shape of an elliptical cylinder. The installed structure provides an optimal position of the laryngeal cartilages, preventing the airway from blocking and restoring the patient’s ability to breathe naturally”, Damir Ashimbaev, a Master’s student in the NUST MISIS’ Department of Pressure Metal Treatment and one of the authors of the paper, said.

According to Ashimbaev, tissue grows through perforations in the structure and the device is integrated into the dog’s larynx within three months of the implant’s insertion. The technology to produce these implants has already been developed and prototypes have already been made.

The implant will come as a relief to pug-owners everywhere. Until now, pugs suffering severe laryngeal collapse have had to rely on tracheostoma whereby a special tube (called a stoma) is installed into the trachea through the skin and the whole thing is very high maintenance, needing constant cleaning so that it doesn’t become clogged. The new implant has already been used clinically in two dogs.

At the moment, the developers are looking for an advanced design of the implant to cut its cost. They are also working on the technology of coating the device with a porous polymer to improve its integration into the larynx.

The research was done on the initiative of the experimental therapy clinic of the NN Blokhin Russian Cancer Research Centre of Russia’s Ministry of Health together with the small innovative enterprise Biomimetix, operating with the assistance of NUST MISIS. The developers strictly adhered to the medical and technical requirements specified by the consultant veterinarians.