In Finland, an orthotics company is producing biodegradable splints made from wood and biopolymers. Onbone, based in Espoo, has 9 patents and 12 pending for its material, trade named Woodcast.
Company CEO Jimmy Takki says the material is particularly well-suited for orthotics. “Only a hairdryer or heat gun is needed to shape the splint so that it fits perfectly, and optimally supports the injured area or the area that needs support for some other reason,” he says in a press statement. “As splints made of Woodcast are light and compact, they can always be at hand for the medical team, no matter where in the world the team is competing or training. The material can also easily be removed or reshaped simply by warming it up again.” The company has also made protective equipment like shin pads and custom insoles.
The technology has even caught the eye of Finland’s Olympic hopefuls. “We support everything that can prevent sports injuries and that can help in treating them rapidly if they occur,” says Ville Köngäs, marketing manager at the Finnish Olympic Committee. “Onbone has just the right expertise, products and technology for this purpose. Woodcast is important to us also, because we want to reduce the environmental impact of sport.”