Research shows NuVasive porous PEEK structure maintains high porosity after impaction

NuVasive has announced the results of the study “Impaction durability of Porous PEEK and titanium-coated PEEK interbody fusion devices,” published online in The Spine Journal

The NuVasive porous polyether-ether-ketone (PEEK) material shows minimal surface damage upon impaction compared to titanium-coated devices, concludes a study recently published in The Spine Journal.

NuVasive has announced the results of the study, which compares the impaction durability of conventional smooth PEEK cervical interbody fusion devices with two surface-modified PEEK devices that feature either a porous structure or plasma-sprayed titanium coating.

In the study, titanium-coated PEEK, smooth PEEK and NuVasive porous PEEK interbody implants were subjected to impaction loading conditions. Analysis of porous PEEK showed the surface structure maintained a high porosity (>65%) and exhibited minimal changes to pore size and depth following impaction. NuVasive claim that this maintenance of porosity and pore depth gives a surgeon confidence that the porous architecture will not collapse during insertion. The titanium-coated devices demonstrated titanium coating loss after impaction; this was corroborated with a decrease in surface roughness. Smooth PEEK showed minimal signs of damage, but demonstrated a decrease in surface roughness.

Kevin T Foley (Neurologic & Spine Institute, Semmes-Murphey Clinic, and Department of Neurosurgery, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, both Memphis, USA), a study author, comments, “The findings in this study are significant because they demonstrate the durability and impaction resistance of interbody implants made from Porous PEEK. Knowing that the porous structure is seamlessly integrated with the implant, without sacrificing implant strength, and that the implant maintains porosity following impaction means that the opportunity for bony ingrowth is optimised.”

Porous PEEK is manufactured through a proprietary extrusion process that produces a unified porous-to-solid structure designed to enhance osseointegration and maximize bone-to-implant contact.

Matt Link, executive vice president for strategy, technology and corporate development at NuVasive, says, “Porous PEEK exemplifies our focus on disruptive technology and materials science. Born out of years of pre-clinical research, this durable implant technology combines the inherent benefits of porosity with the advantageous material properties of PEEK. Designed for enhanced osseointegration, biomechanical, and imaging properties, Porous PEEK and the entire NuVasive Advanced Materials Science portfolio, which also includes Modulus titanium interbody implants, represent the future of porous implant technologies.”


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