Solvay Specialty Polymers (Brussels) announced this year that China-based artificial joint manufacturer Okani Medical Technology has developed an all-polymer knee implant using Solvay’s Zeniva PEEK. Okani’s novel ORGKnee implant reportedly offers a longer service life at a lower cost than traditional metal-based implant systems.
PEEK also made news in the medical 3D printing space, when Evonik (Essen, Germany) announced the development of an implant-grade PEEK filament for 3D printing in November. Formulated for fused filament fabrication technology, the material is based on Vestakeep i4 G, which has a long history of use in spinal implants, maxillofacial surgery and sports medicine.
More broadly, the 3D printing materials portfolio expanded significantly this year.
Sabic (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) introduced two medical-grade materials at NPE2018: Ultem AMHU1010F, a polyetherimide product that provides inherent high-heat resistance, and Lexan AMHC620F, a biocompatible polycarbonate filament that withstands gamma and EtO sterilization.
Solvay (Brussels) added the first medical-grade additive manufacturing (AM) filaments suitable for contact with bodily fluids and tissue for less than 24 hours to its high-performance materials portfolio. The new materials are a neat KetaSpire PEEK AM filament, a 10% carbon-fiber-reinforced KetaSpire PEEK AM filament and a neat Radel polyphenylsulfone AM filament.
Digital manufacturing company Carbon (Redwood City, CA) achieved a milestone this year when it introduced its first medical-grade material. The Medical Polyurethane 100 (MPU 100) resin combines mechanical strength, biocompatibility and sterilizability, making it suitable for the fabrication of medical components used in skin- and drug-contact devices and single-use applications.
What’s next? That is a question we will endeavor to answer after the holidays in our annual medtech forecast. In the meantime, stay healthy.