Featured Publications & Reports

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2008 WBC Poster Presentation: Polymer Solutions for Improving Treatment in Radiotherapy

Researchers from the ErasmusMC-University Medical Center in Rotterdam have investigated PEEK-OPTIMA in various compositions with radiopaque filler materials to develop a new fiducial marker for use in radiotherapy that is visible on xray, CT and MRI imaging, but does not produce undesired artefacts. Nonmetallic markers reduced artefacts on CT. Researchers concluded that the use of the new PEEK fiducial markers offers the best chance to improve treatment accuracy in radiotherapy.

2008 WBC Conference Poster: Laser Welding of PEEK-OPTIMA for Medical Devices

Researchers have developed a direct laser welding process for joining PEEK-Optima parts for medical devices. The joint design must be optimized to produce hermetic joints. Sections of PEEK greater than 1 mm are not amenable to tranmission laser welding because the high crystallinity scatters the laser light. Cylindrical parts are spun in a specialized rig under inert gas during the welding process. Hermetic welds were produced with 10s of weld time.

2008 WBC Conference Poster: Tensile Fracture Behavior in the Presence of a Notch Riser

The objective of this study was to investigate the fracture surfaces produced by uniaxial tensile fracture of medical grade PEEK with and without the presence of a stress concentration. Spine and orthopedic components contain stress-risers, thus it is of interest to determine the notch sensitivity behavior of PEEK. The polymer demonstrated significant notch sensitivity (reduction in fracture stress) in tension and a transition from ductile to brittle fracture micromechanisms.

2008 WBC Presentation-PEEK Implants: Overview and Potential

This conference presentation by Steve Kurtz reviews the clinical applications and properties of medical grade PEEK. The talk reviews the use of PEEK in orthopedic and spine implants, and covers the physical and mechancial behavior of PEEK and PEEK composites. The recent development of image contrast grades of PEEK, as well as bioactive, PEEK-HA composites is reviewed.

Processing and Properties of Hydroxyapatite Whisker Reinforced PAEKs

This Ph.D. Dissertation by Gabriel Converse from the University of Notre Dame describes the production of hydroxyapatite (HA) whisker reinforced polyaryletherketone (PAEK) biocomposites and scaffolds with tailored mechanical properties similar to those of bone tissue. Polyetheretherketone (PEEK) was reinforced with up to 50% HA whisker reinforcement using a novel powder processing and compression molding technique. HA whisker reinforced polyetherketoneketone (PEKK) scaffolds were successfully processed with 75-90% porosity and 20-40% vol% HA whisker reinforcement. By tailoring porosity and HA whisker content, Converse achieved a spectrum of biocomposite properties ranging between those of cortical and cancellous bone.

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