In time, a new type of penile implant may be available for men with erectile dysfunction (ED).
Developed by researchers from the Southern Illinois School of Medicine, the non-hydraulic implant uses a handheld magnetic inductor to trigger an erection instead of the pump-and-reservoir system used with hydraulic inflatable devices.
The prosthesis could be helpful for men who have trouble activating a scrotal pump.
The results of the ex-vivo study was presented in May at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in New Orleans.
The 22 cm (8.6 inch) penile prosthesis was made of a shape-memory alloy containing nickel and titanium.
Using a 1,000 watt magnetic inductor, the team was able to activate an erection without contact with the implant. The prosthesis could become erect in about two minutes. The researchers suggested that this time frame could be reduced by using a variable power generator.
Going from the flaccid to the erect state generated about 0.3 kgf of perpendicular force. The in-axis force was approximately 0.95 kgf. At maximum force, the prosthesis reached a final temperature of about 42° C (107° F).
“The operating force parameters are consistent with current market devices,” the study authors wrote in their abstract.
The new system may also be easier for surgeons to implant.
“This method circumvents many of the challenges associated with placement and manipulation of the pump and reservoir,” the authors explained.
Testing the device on animals is the next step, researcher Kevin McVary, MD told Medscape Medical News.
“We’re in the midst of getting that arranged,” he said.
American Urological Association
Colombo, Alberto, et al.
“Beyond the pump: Use of magnetic induction to activate a penile prosthesis”
(Abstract PD26-03 presented May 17, 2015 at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, New Orleans, LA)
Medscape Medical News
“Pump-Free Penile Prosthesis Can Work, Early Study Shows”
(June 1, 2015)