Titan Spine study wins Whitecloud Award for Best Basic Research at IMAST 2014


Titan Spine has announced that a research paper which evaluated their surface technology was awarded the prestigious Whitecloud Award for Best Basic Science Research from the Scoliosis Research Society. The study results further demonstrate that the company’s line of Endoskeleton Interbody Devices promote osteoblastic differentiation and enhanced bone-forming environment compared to devices made from polyetheretherketone (PEEK). The paper was presented Thursday, 17 July at the 21st International Meeting on Advanced Spine Techniques (IMAST), held 16 – 19 July, 2014 in Valencia, Spain.    

The paper, titled “Implant Materials Generate Different Peri-Implant Inflammatory Factors: PEEK Promotes Fibrosis and Micro-textured Titanium Promotes Osteogenic Factors” (Paper #12), was presented by Paul Slosar of Spine Care Medical Group in San Francisco, USA and chief medical officer of Titan Spine, in a podium presentation during the session Concurrent Sessions 2A: Whitecloud Basic Research Award Nominees & Top Scoring Abstracts.


Slosar, comments, “We are honoured to have our research recognised with IMAST’s prestigious Whitecloud Award for Best Basic Research. Our findings further establish that the combination of interbody device material and design is essential. The results of this study have great importance to spine surgeons. We now know conclusively that the materials we implant in our patients can stimulate stem cells to behave differently, either promoting bone formation or creating inflammation and fibrosis. Titan Spine is committed to developing implants based on strong science, pioneering efforts to optimise surface technology for the benefit of patients undergoing spinal fusion procedures.”


Barbara Boyan, Dean of the School of Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University, and lead author of the study, says, “Through this research we are better able to understand how implant surface properties influence specific inflammatory micro-environment factors. We found that the titanium alloy surface with a complex micron scale and submicron scale roughness promotes a cellular response that favours bone formation. Conversely, PEEK created an inflammation response that will more likely to lead to fibrous tissue formation.”


Previous in-vitro research on Titan Spine’s current proprietary surface technology demonstrated a significantly enhanced osteogenic environment when compared to smooth titanium or PEEK. This surface technology, which contains unique topographies at the macro, micro, and sub-micron levels, is featured on the company’s line of Endoskeleton interbody devices for the cervical and lumbar spine, including the company’s recently-launched Endoskeleton TL lateral interbody fusion device. Titan’s product line is commercially available in the United States and portions of Europe and recently gained market approval in Australia and New Zealand.