Featured Publications & Reports

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Pre-Clinical Studies to Validate the MITCH PCR Cup

Researchers from London and Cambridge have developed a novel, horseshoe-shaped acetabular cup fabricated from CFR-PEEK articulating against an alumina femoral head. Simulated loading was performed using finite element analysis. Mechanical and tribological tests were performed to ensure the robustness of the new optimised design. Bio-compatibility of the articulation couple was demonstrated using an animal model. Implantation of the device has been extensively tested and re-validated in vitro to achieve a favourable polar contact between cup and femoral head and establish a reproducible operative technique. This preliminary work is undertaken prior to commencing a post market surveillance study of the CE marked implant.

Amorphous and crystalline polyetheretherketone: Mechanical properties and tissue reactions during a 3-year follow-up

The study was aimed to test the mechanical strength, structural stability, and tissue reactions of optically amorphous and crystalline polyetheretherketone (PEEK) plates during a 3-year follow-up in vivo and in vitro. The injection-moulded PEEK plates were implanted to the dorsal subcutis of 12 sheep, which were sacrificed at 6-156 weeks. Both optically amorphous and crystalline PEEK plates were fount to be suitable for the fixation of fractures and osteotomies.

Processing and tensile properties of hydroxyapatite-whisker-reinforced polyetheretherketone.

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame have reinforced PEEK with 0-50 vol% hydroxyapatite (HA) whiskers using a novel powder processing and compression molding technique which enabled uniform mixing at high whisker content. Texture analysis showed that viscous flow during compression molding produced a preferred orientation of whiskers along the specimen tensile axis. Consequently, the elastic modulus or ultimate tensile strength of HA-whisker-reinforced PEEK was able to be tailored to mimic human cortical bone.

PEEK biomaterials in trauma, orthopedic, and spinal implants.

This review article synthesizes the extensive polymer science literature as it relates to structure, mechanical properties, and chemical resistance of PAEK biomaterials. With this foundation, one can more readily appreciate why this family of polymers will be inherently strong, inert, and biocompatible. PEEK has had the greatest clinical impact in the field of spine implant design, and PEEK is now broadly accepted as a radiolucent alternative to metallic biomaterials in the spine community. For mature fields, such as total joint replacements and fracture fixation implants, radiolucency is an attractive but not necessarily critical material feature.

The wear properties of CFR-PEEK-OPTIMA articulating against ceramic assessed on a multidirectional pin-on-plate machine

Tribologists from Durham University, England have performed tests on a multidirectional pin-on-plate machine to determine the wear of both pitch and polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based carbon fibre-polyetheretherketone (CFR-PEEK-OPTIMA) pins articulating against both BioLox Delta and BioLox Forte plates (ceramic materials). Although all four material combinations gave similar low wear with no statistically significant difference (p > 0.25), the lowest average total wear of these pin-on-plate tests was provided by CFR-PEEK-OPTIMA pitch pins versus BioLox Forte plates.

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