Attendees of the 11th Congress of the Chinese Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, held in partnership with the North American Spine Society, witnessed firsthand the advantages of a hybrid spinal implant that combines titanium and PEEK-Optima polymer from Invibio (Thornton Cleveleys, UK). Invibio teamed up with device manufacturer Full Science & Technology Development (Beijing) to demo the new Uplifter Expandable Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion device at the event, which was held in May 2018 in Shanghai.
The Uplifter is described as the first domestic expandable hybrid cage made from titanium and PEEK-Optima. "The benefits of using PEEK for spinal implants include radiolucency that assists in accurate fusion assessment as well as having a track record of excellent long-term clinical results and radiographic fusion rates,” said Dr. Patrick C. Hsieh, from the USC Spine Center in Los Angeles. He demonstrated a direct-lateral lumbar interbody fusion (DLIF) procedure at the event. “Invibio PEEK-Optima polymer combined with the features of Fule’s expandable cage allows 3 to 5 mm of expansion,” he added.
“To drive advances in orthopedics we partner with a variety of experts ranging from material and technology experts to orthopedic surgeons treating patients,” said Guoping Fan, Technology Director at Fule Science & Technology, in a press release distributed by Invibio. “The in-depth technical cooperation with Invibio allowed the development and introduction of this first hybrid PEEK-titanium expandable cage in China. Now we are working full speed to develop spinal fusion devices with PEEK-OPTIMA HA Enhanced,” said Fan.
Invibio´s enhanced PEEK is a relatively new thermoplastic biomaterial in China that offers all of the clinical advantages of unfilled PEEK-Optima Natural polymer. In addition, it has been shown to improve bone apposition compared to unfilled PEEK-Optima Natural in a pre-clinical ovine model at four and 12 weeks, and also demonstrated performance advantages in a pre-clinical cervical spine fusion model in sheep at six and 12 weeks. In PEEK-Optima HA Enhanced, hydroxyapatite (HA), a well-known osteoconductive material, is fully integrated into the polymer matrix, and not simply coated on the surface. Early clinical results for cervical and lumbar spinal fusion reveal potential patient benefits and specific improvements for the enhanced biomaterial, including solid fusions as early as six months, beneficial clinical outcomes at early time points and improvements in overall pain and neurological function, said Invibio in the press release.