Alumnus designs synthetic bone

Seton Hall alumnus Kirk Mutafopulos ’11 designed a synthetic bone graft substitute that prevents the loss of strength and stiffness during bone remodeling.

Mutafopulos discovered the design of the bone graft substitute alongside his design project teammates at Cornell University in early 2012.

“The main function of an implanted bone graft is to fill the defect void and provide support over an extended period of time,” Mutafopulos said.

The design was funded by Ultramet, a company seeking additional outlets and uses for their porous metal products.

“We wanted to seed the moldable phase of the multiphase synthetic bone graft substitute with the porous Tantalum particulates – we just needed to figure out how to do it and what materials were going to make up the MSBGS,” Mutafopulos said.

Mutafopulos began researching orthopedic biomaterials in August 2011. The MSBGS design resulted from his original goal of creating a synthetic moldable orthopedic implant for a final design project.

According to Mutafopulos, MSBGS becomes an equivalent to the current method of treatment, which is an allograft or autograft.

“It will definitely be a game-changer for the orthopedic field if it ever reaches the surface, since it will be the first moldable implant that can fit the shape of any sized defect site and exhibit a compressive strength above 80 MPa,” Mutafopulos said.

Mutafopulos works on the innovation team at the BioMEMs resource center as a member of the research staff at Massachusetts General Hospital.

According to Mutafopulos, his favorite part of the job getting “to be creative in the field of medicine.”

As a student at Seton Hall, Mutafopulos was a biology major and criminal justice minor. His main interests included biophysics. After graduating from Seton Hall, Mutafopulos earned his master’s of engineering in biomedical engineering from Cornell University.

Leah Carton can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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