Bond3D, a company with patented technology that enables the production of functional parts from high-performance polymers, has recently made significant progress in maturing its technology to print high-strength PEEK parts – with comparable properties to PEEK components that are injection molded or machined. The company has now partnered with Invibio Biomaterial Solutions to enable the development of the next generation of PEEK-based spinal cages.
The medical device industry uses PEEK for long-term orthopedic, spine, trauma, and cardiovascular implants. The ability of PEEK to deliver clinical and economic benefits in medical devices has led to over 15 million patients receiving PEEK implants, and Bond3D’s technology will catalyze the development of further solutions in medical devices by allowing the creation of high-strength, porous implants that permit bone ingrowth and increase device fixation, in addition to enabling the rapid printing of patient-specific implants.
“One of the major opportunities for porous implants is in the field of spinal interbody fusion devices which are used to treat spinal problems in over a million patients each year,” said HenkJan van der Pol, CTO of Bond3D.
When designing an interbody fusion device, the desire is to produce devices that allow for fusion to be assessed through artifact-free CT/MRI images. Reducing the potential for cage subsidence, by producing implants with a modulus similar to natural bone, is also hugely important, in addition to including highly porous regions with the right functionality to encourage bone ingrowth. Therefore, there is a need to develop more advanced solutions than the current generation of porous titanium cages – which have challenges related to imaging and stiffness.
Now, Bond3D has established the necessary capabilities to enable medical device companies to design highly porous PEEK cages that meet biomechanical and biocompatibility requirements needed for FDA approval. The final steps towards FDA submission are being taken in partnership with a US-based spine company – supported by a masterfile that will facilitate subsequent medical OEMs to bring different designs to the market.