Medical Additive ManufacturingOrthopedic Implants

3D printed titanium spinal cages beat PEEK cages in new animal study

Stryker-funded research confirms better bone in-growth of its Tritanium cage

Stryker’s Spine division today announced the publication of a pre-clinical animal study comparing the performance of spinal implants made from a variety of materials, which illustrated the bone ingrowth and biological fixation capabilities of its 3D-printed Tritanium cages. The study, titled “Bony Ingrowth Potential of 3D Printed Porous Titanium Alloy: A Direct Comparison of Interbody Cage Materials in an In Vivo Ovine Lumbar Fusion Model,” was published in the July issue of The Spine Journal.

“Stryker’s proprietary Tritanium Technology, a novel, highly porous titanium alloy material designed for bone in-growth and biological fixation, is based on additive manufacturing techniques for orthopaedic surgery pioneered by Stryker over 15 years ago”Michael Carter, Vice President and General Manager of Stryker’s Spine Division

The purpose of the study was to compare the bone in-growth and biomechanical differences of interbody cages with various material technologies in an ovine lumbar interbody fusion model. The cages involved in this study included traditional PEEK cages, plasma-sprayed titanium-coated PEEK cages, and Stryker’s 3D-printed porous Tritanium cages.

A Tritanium PL Spine implant additively manufactured by Stryker

The results demonstrated that the Tritanium cages exhibited significantly greater total bone volume within the graft window at both 8 and 16 weeks compared to the PEEK cages (p<0.01).1 Tritanium cages also were the only cages that showed a decrease in range of motion and an increase in stiffness across all three loading directions (axial rotation, flexion-extension, and lateral bending) between the 8-week and 16-week time points (p-value ≤0.01). 1

“The results of this study provide an evidence-based approach to decision-making regarding interbody materials for spinal fusion, as there is significant variability in the materials commonly used for interbody cages in spine surgery,” said Sigurd H. Berven, M.D., an orthopaedic surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco who is also a paid consultant for Stryker. “The study showed the potential for bone in-growth into and around the Tritanium cages.”

According to Michael Carter, vice president and general manager of Stryker’s Spine division, 3D printing/additive manufacturing, allows the creation of a material with “precisely randomized” porous structures designed to mimic bone. “This important study reinforces the value of our growing line of Tritanium interbody cages and demonstrates Stryker’s commitment to bringing the latest in advanced technologies to our customers,” Carter said.

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Victor Anusci

Victor does not really exist. He is a pseudonym for several writers in the 3D Printing Media Network team. As a pseudonym, Victor has also had a fascinating made-up life story, living as a digital (and virtual) nomad to cover the global AM industry. He has always worked extra-hard whenever he was needed to create unique content. However, lately, as our editorial team has grown, he is mostly taking care of publishing press releases.

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